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An ugly game, but a win doesn't have to be pretty


Greg Prichard

Knights 14 Eels 6

Fuifui Moimoi obviously thought he’d spotted a weak link in the shape of Jarrod Mullen, and ran the ball at the Knights five-eighth over and over again, only to be met with impenetrable defence – over and over again.

Fuifui Moimoi obviously thought he’d spotted a weak link in the shape of Jarrod Mullen, and ran the ball at the Knights five-eighth over and over again, only to be met with impenetrable defence – over and over again. Photo: Getty Images

If it wasn't the game from hell, it was from a place nearby. But they can't all be jewels, and one of the beautiful things about rugby league is that even if you play ugly but manage to win, it's still worth two points. And who knows how important yesterday's two points might be to Newcastle at the end of the regular season.


Asked for his assessment of the game, Parramatta's coach Steve Kearney rolled his eyes and said: ''I don't think Wayne [Bennett] would be real happy, but he would be happier than me. It wasn't real pretty.'' Told of Kearney's comments, Knights coach Bennett laughed and said: ''I thought we were outstanding.''

This one was from the bottom drawer. There were too many mistakes and the football was of a genuinely low standard. It was particularly disappointing for Parramatta, who thought they had turned the corner with their 29-20 win over Manly last weekend. They had lost four straight before that, and now they have gone straight back to their losing ways.

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''That last 20 minutes we had plenty of ball and we didn't do anything with it,'' Eels captain Nathan Hindmarsh said. ''The frustrating thing is we went so far backwards from what we did the week before against Manly. We played some lethargic footy, bar a couple of players.''

Kearney added: ''I thought we gave ourselves enough opportunities in the second half. Spent a fair time on their try line, but couldn't come up with the killer blow. It's very frustrating. I think, if you look on the stat sheets and what have you, we got the upper hand in all departments but didn't come up with points, didn't look like coming up with points.

''I don't mind getting beaten, but I don't like us beating ourselves, which I thought we did today.''

Bennett said Newcastle's defence on their own line was the difference between them winning and losing.

''That was great, saved the day for us,'' he said. ''The rest, you can just put a blank. We started well. First 20 minutes I thought we were really good, but from that moment on it was a totally different football team.''

Bennett offered Eels prop Fuifui Moimoi advice about his desire to run the football at Knights five-eighth Jarrod Mullen, saying: ''Should have got the message when he got tackled the fifth or sixth time, that he wasn't going to run over him. It was great defence. Jarrod wanted the opportunity to tackle him, he was confident he could do that.''

''He [Moimoi] was playing on the edge last week,'' Mullen said. ''Stoney [Knights assistant coach Rick Stone] challenged me as to whether I wanted to stay there or go out to the centres. I said I want to stay there. I'm happy I got the job done.''

Junior Sa'u got the ball rolling for Newcastle when he slipped a great, one-handed pass in a tackle to winger Akuila Uate for a sixth-minute try.

''There was a lot of criticism about [Sa'u] before I came here, and a lot of guys trying to convince me I shouldn't keep him,'' Bennett said. ''But all the things people said about him, I haven't found. He got himself down to about 97 kilos, and his defence is getting better every week. You like those stories, because it's a guy who has an eye for improving himself.''

Both teams would like to move on from yesterday, but only the Knights appear capable of moving on to something meaningful, such as the finals. The Eels will do well to avoid finishing the season where they sit now: last.

NEWCASTLE 14 (A Uate 2 tries; T Roberts 3 goals) bt PARRAMATTA 6 (T Mannah try; C Sandow goal) at Hunter Stadium. Referees: Tony Archer, Tony De Las Heras. Crowd: 24,518.

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NCH SPORT  NRL match between the Newcastle Knights and the Parramatta Eels. Hunter Stadium, Broadmeadow. 1st Half. Picture shows Eels player Tim Mannah scores a try. 8th April 2012 Newcastle NCH SPORT PIC JONATHAN CARROLL Eels no match for a column of Knights

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BRI 6vs SOU 36 Report Stats
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PAR 42vs MAN 12 Report Report Stats
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NEW 24vs NZW 14 Report Stats
GCT 18vs WST 19 Report Stats
NQL 4vs SYD 28 Report Stats
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PEN 24vs CBY 18 Report Stats
CRO 20vs CBR 24 Report Stats
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STG 4vs MEL 12 Report Stats
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CBY 32vs PAR 12 Report Stats
CRO 2vs BRI 10 Report Stats
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PEN 40vs GCT 0 Report Stats
MAN 24vs MEL 22 Stats
NQL 14vs NEW 16 Report Stats
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SOU 34vs SYD 26 Stats
CBR 6vs NZW 18 Report Stats
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WST 22vs STG 4 Stats
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MAN 12vs CBY 16 Report Stats
BRI 44vs NQL 22 Report Stats
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NZW 29vs PAR 16 Report Stats
CBR 20vs STG 22 Report Stats
MEL 36vs CRO 18 Report Stats
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SOU 20vs WST 6 Report Stats
GCT 18vs NEW 20 Report Stats
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PAR 29vs SOU 16 Report Stats
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NEW 26vs PEN 14 Report Stats
CRO 22vs GCT 24 Report Stats
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SYD 34vs CBR 6 Report Stats
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CBY 17vs SOU 18 Report Stats
GCT 16vs BRI 26 Report Stats
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MAN 16vs CBR 29 Report Stats
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MEL 30vs NZW 14 Report Stats
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BRI 22vs SYD 18 Report Stats
CRO 22vs NEW 6 Report Stats
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PAR 16vs GCT 38 Report Stats
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CBR 10vs MEL 14 Report Stats
STG 31vs CBY 6 Report Stats
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SOU 12vs NQL 30 Report Stats
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CBY 28vs MAN 16 Report Stats
STG 12vs BRI 10 Report Stats
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GCT 32vs PEN 6 Report Stats
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NEW 22vs PAR 28 Report Stats
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CBY 14vs WST 38 Stats
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NEW 24vs NQL 26 Report Stats
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PEN 26vs CRO 18 Stats
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BRI 8vs PEN 5 Report Stats
SYD 36vs WST 4 Stats
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CBR 56vs GCT 16 Stats
CRO 16vs NZW 20 Stats
NQL 23vs CBY 16 Stats
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MAN 30vs NEW 10 Stats
PAR 10vs MEL 28 Stats
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SOU 16vs STG 10 Stats
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CBY 10vs SYD 24 Stats
NQL 31vs BRI 20 Stats
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PAR 13vs NZW 17 Report Stats
GCT 22vs CRO 23 Report Stats
MEL 16vs SOU 12 Stats
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STG 32vs CBR 18 Report Stats
NEW 22vs WST 12 Stats
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MAN 10vs PEN 11 Stats
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SOU 14vs PAR 12 Report Stats
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WST 0vs NQL 8 Stats
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CBR 34vs CBY 41 Stats
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NEW 18vs BRI 31 Stats
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PEN 20vs PAR 26 Stats
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GCT 16vs SOU 22 Report Stats
CBR 12vs BRI 24 Stats
NQL 18vs MAN 14 Report Stats
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NZW 24vs NEW 20 Stats
STG 42vs CRO 6 Stats
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BRI 44vs MAN 10 Report Stats
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NEW 22vs CBR 44 Stats
SOU 36vs NZW 4 Stats
PEN 0vs MEL 20 Report Stats
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CRO 10vs SYD 4 Stats
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CBY 29vs STG 16 Stats
PAR 30vs NQL 36 Report Stats
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WST 34vs SOU 6 Report Stats
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NZW 21vs SYD 25 Report Stats
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GCT 28vs CBY 14 Stats
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MEL 22vs PAR 26 Report Stats
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MAN 30vs WST 20 Report Stats
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CBR 20vs NQL 21 Report Stats
GCT 14vs NZW 36 Report Stats
CBY 24vs PEN 12 Report Stats
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NEW 28vs CRO 30 Report Stats
MEL 12vs BRI 14 Report Stats
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STG 14vs SYD 19 Report Stats
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BRI 44vs NEW 22 Stats
SOU 20vs MAN 8 Report Stats
Sat, 27 JunTimes shown AEST
NZW 30vs CBR 8 Stats
NQL 18vs CRO 24 Report Stats
PAR 16vs STG 12 Report Stats
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SYD 20vs GCT 10 Stats
WST 12vs PEN 35 Stats
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CBY 20vs MEL 4 Report Stats
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PEN 20vs SOU 6 Report Stats
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STG 12vs NQL 18 Report Stats
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MAN 28vs CRO 16 Report Stats
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WST 16vs PAR 28 Stats
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CBR 36vs NEW 22 Stats
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PEN 4vs SYD 24 Stats
CBY 8vs BRI 16 Stats
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NZW 28vs MEL 14 Report Stats
CRO 28vs STG 8 Report Stats
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GCT 6vs MAN 38 Stats
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PAR 4vs CBY 28 Report Stats
MEL 52vs PEN 10 Report Stats
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CBR 20vs CRO 21 Report Stats
NEW 30vs GCT 2 Report Stats
STG 8vs SOU 24 Report Stats
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SYD 24vs NZW 0 Report Stats
BRI 42vs WST 16 Stats
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MAN 12vs NQL 30 Stats
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Round 20
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BRI 34vs GCT 0 Report Stats
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NZW 12vs MAN 32 Stats
MEL 22vs STG 4 Stats
SOU 52vs NEW 6 Stats
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PEN 24vs CBR 34 Report Stats
CBY 16vs CRO 18 Report Stats
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Round 21
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WST 34vs MEL 16 Report Stats
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NZW 14vs CRO 18 Stats
NQL 32vs CBR 24 Stats
MAN 44vs BRI 14 Stats
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STG 46vs NEW 24 Stats
SOU 20vs PEN 16 Report Stats
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GCT 24vs PAR 14 Stats
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BRI 16vs CBY 18 Report Stats
MAN 28vs SOU 8 Stats
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NZW 0vs STG 36 Stats
CRO 30vs NQL 18 Stats
PAR 10vs PEN 4 Stats
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MEL 36vs GCT 14 Report Stats
NEW 22vs SYD 38 Report Stats
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CBR 18vs WST 20 Stats
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Round 23
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NQL 18vs SOU 31 Stats
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BRI 32vs STG 6 Report Stats
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WST 18vs NEW 24 Stats
PEN 24vs NZW 10 Stats
SYD 28vs PAR 18 Stats
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CBR 24vs MAN 26 Stats
CBY 36vs GCT 14 Report Stats
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CRO 2vs MEL 30 Stats
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Round 24
Thu, 20 AugTimes shown AEST
STG 19vs PEN 12 Report Stats
Fri, 21 AugTimes shown AEST
SOU 18vs CBY 32 Report Stats
Sat, 22 AugTimes shown AEST
CRO 40vs WST 18 Report Stats
NZW 16vs NQL 50 Report Stats
SYD 12vs BRI 10 Report Stats
Sun, 23 AugTimes shown AEST
GCT 28vs CBR 12 Stats
MAN 16vs PAR 20 Report Stats
Mon, 24 AugTimes shown AEST
MEL 6vs NEW 20 Report Stats
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Round 25
Thu, 27 AugTimes shown AEST
SOU 12vs BRI 47 Report Stats
Fri, 28 AugTimes shown AEST
MAN 10vs SYD 46 Report Stats
Sat, 29 AugTimes shown AEST
PAR 28vs CRO 35 Stats
NEW 18vs CBY 20 Stats
MEL 14vs NQL 6 Report Stats
Sun, 30 AugTimes shown AEST
WST 50vs NZW 16 Report Stats
GCT 28vs STG 26 Stats
Mon, 31 AugTimes shown AEST
CBR 34vs PEN 18 Stats
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Round 26
Thu, 03 SepTimes shown AEST
BRI 8vs MEL 15 Report Stats
Fri, 04 SepTimes shown AEST
SYD 30vs SOU 0 Report Stats
Sat, 05 SepTimes shown AEST
PEN 30vs NEW 12 Stats
STG 32vs WST 30 Stats
NQL 42vs GCT 12 Stats
Sun, 06 SepTimes shown AEST
PAR 24vs CBR 28 Stats
CRO 12vs MAN 14 Stats
CBY 26vs NZW 22 Stats
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SYD 18vs MEL 20 Report Stats
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CBY 11vs STG 10 Report Stats
BRI 16vs NQL 12 Report Stats
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CRO 28vs SOU 12 Report Stats
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SYD 38vs CBY 12 Report Stats
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NQL 39vs CRO 0 Report Stats
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MEL 12vs NQL 32 Stats
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