Rugby League

Sloppy Knights let milestone man down as rival No.7 leads Tigers to drought-breaker: 3 Big Hits

Newcastle failed to celebrate halfback Mitchell Pearce’s 300th NRL game with victory as the Knights dropped their way to a 24-20 loss to Wests Tigers at Hunter Stadium.

The home side made a shocking 18 errors, some of which led directly to Tigers tries as Michael Maguire’s team scored its first win of the year.

Pearce himself played well in his milestone game but a number of teammates let him down.

Here’s the biggest talking points from the Round 3 clash.

Watch The 2021 NRL Telstra Premiership Live & On-Demand with No Ad-Breaks During Play. New to Kayo? > Get your 14-day free trial now & start streaming instantly >

NRL: Wests Tigers fullback Daine Laurie caught the refereeing team napping at McDonald Jones Stadium, saving this 40/20 against the Knights….

NRL: Wests Tigers fullback Daine Laurie caught the refereeing team napping at McDonald Jones Stadium, saving this 40/20 against the Knights.

BACKLINE STARS BADLY NEEDED BACK

Newcastle has been decimated by injuries early in the season.

On Sunday the notable names missing included Kalyn Ponga, Edrick Lee, Bradman Best, and Lachlan Fitzgibbon.

Young winger Starford To’a was also withdrawn pre-game to add to their woes.

It meant coach Adam O’Brien had to field a rather makeshift backline against the Tigers which had Tex Hoy at fullback, Gehamat Shibasaki on a wing, and his centre was debutant Dom Young.

Young performed well in his first NRL game but the other two fill-ins were not so impressive.

oy did score a try and had some decent runs but he made three errors in the first half, one of which handed the opposition points.

Shibasaki had a nightmare in the second half, dropping a ball cold which handed the Tigers the try to put them back in front with minutes on the clock.

Pearce! In game 300! 👏

🏈 #NRLKnightsTigers
📺 WATCH https://t.co/bLf7czxHkM
📝 BLOG https://t.co/aX01ufSZzV
📲 MATCH CENTRE https://t.co/BVzhQN4RRTpic.twitter.com/TMvyZgPeXD

“He’s been consistently bad this afternoon,” Greg Alexander said in Fox League commentary.

Later Shibasaki let the ball bounce when the Tigers led with four minutes remaining.

It almost led to another Tigers try and Alexander proclaimed, “Shibasaki’s confidence is shot”.

Ideally the Knights will have Ponga and Lee back within weeks and they need them desperately to plug the holes in the backline.

CONFIDENCE BUILDER FOR BROOKS

Tigers halfback Luke Brooks has copped his fair share of criticism in the past fortnight after the Tigers went 0-2 to start the year.

But on Sunday he had two try assists and looked largely in control as his side upset the previously unbeaten Knights.

Balmain legend Garry Jack was impressed with the No.7, tweeting, “Luke Brooks… stand tall young man. You have answered your critics in fine form this week”

Brooks had a shocker against the Roosters last week.

A highlight of his Round 3 performance was a superb kick to the right wing to set up an Adam Douihi try in the first half.

Luke Brooks. ..stand tall young man. You have answered your critics in fine form this week #[email protected]@WestsTigers

TOUCH JUDGE HEAD SCRATCHER

Sideline referees in the NRL often go unnoticed and the official running the stripe at Hunter Stadium on Sunday probably wished she remained unspoken of too.

But a howler in the first half put her in the spotlight and robbed Newcastle of one of its best pieces of attacking play for the day.

Knights hooker Jayden Brailey produced a superb kick from dummy half, aiming for a 40-20.

The ball looked like rolling perfectly into touch, only for young Tigers fullback Daine Laurie to get to it and successfully tap it back in the field of play.

But as Laurie ran from out-of-bounds to collect the ball, he leapt from the wrong side of the sideline and caught the pill, which should have been noticed by the touch judge.

Commentators also noticed the ball had actually hit the paint and therefore should have been handed back to the Knights within their attacking 20 metres.

“He’s come from outside the field of play and touched it,” Andrew Voss roared on Fox League.

“I’m sure he had not returned to the field of play before he touched the ball. I’m convinced.”

Originally published asKnights star breaks apart in ‘nightmare’

Source: Read Full Article