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No mercy for wounded Knights as Broncos run riot

Date

Brett Keeble

KNIGHTS 10 BRONCOS 24

Juggling act ... Richie Fa'Aoso of the Knights offloads the ball under pressure of the Brisbane defence.

Juggling act ... Richie Fa'Aoso of the Knights offloads the ball under pressure of the Brisbane defence. Photo: Cameron Spencer

BRISBANE ran roughshod over a battered and disjointed Newcastle outfit for a comprehensive 24-10 victory at Hunter Stadium last night.

MATCH STATS

A 99-metre try by Newcastle winger James McManus against the run of play, converted by Matt Hilder, trimmed Brisbane's lead to 12-10 in the 55th minute.

McManus reeled in Corey Norman's testing cross-field bomb one metre in front of Newcastle's line and the Flying Scotsman streaked away from the Brisbane chasers to score, resuscitating the Knights, who until that point looked like they were on life support.

But late tries by Gerard Beale (64th minute) and Matt Gillett (70th minute) sealed the win.

The Broncos dominated the first half to lead 12-4 at the break, and the wounded Knights were fortunate to be that close.

Brisbane coach Anthony Griffin was pleased to have put in a strong defensive display after last round's 28-26 loss to North Queensland, and praised the work of his forward pack which was ably led by man-of-the-match Ben Hannant in the absence of workaholic lock Corey Parker.

"After last week, the thing we wanted to do tonight was no matter what the result, we wanted to come back and get some character back into our performance and into our defence," Griffin said.

"That was our main goal tonight and we did that tonight."

Knights prop Adam Cuthbertson and centre Wes Naiqama suffered knee injuries in the first half and were replaced, and halfback Jarrod Mullen and winger Akuila Uate stayed on the field but were both hobbling.

Coach Wayne Bennett confirmed Naiqama faces a six-week stint on the sideline with his knee injury.

Mullen was favouring his left ankle after a heavy tackle in the 19th minute, and Uate was limping after defusing a bomb six minutes later.

The Knights were on the back foot after a forward dummy-half pass from Danny Buderus to Chris Houston in the fourth minute gifted the Broncos the ball from the subsequent scrum. Before the end of the set, back-rower Alex Glenn beat attempted tackles by Houston, Naiqama and fullback Darius Boyd to touch down, and Wallace converted for a 6-0 lead.

Boyd and Hilder, a late change at five-eighth for Ryan Stig, both lost the ball close to their own line in the eighth minute and the Knights had to defend desperately to avoid going further behind.

Cuthbertson received treatment after hyper-extending his right knee when tackled in the 12th minute but the delay in play did the Knights no harm, as Uate crossed out wide after a back-line movement from the play-the-ball.

Richie Fa'aoso spilled the ball close to the half-way line in the 29th minute, and Queensland and Australian centre Justin Hodges made him pay immediately. From the base of the subsequent scrum, Hodges took a pass, brushed Hilder aside, and loped 40 metres to score.

Wallace's conversion extended Brisbane's advantage to eight points at the break.

Bennett couldn't hide his disappointment post-game, lamenting the woeful performance and admitting he felt sorry for the crowd of just under 25,000.

"I'm really disappointed for them tonight," Bennett said.

"You don't want to deal that up to them and I think that's what hurts them most of all, you just feel you've let them down a little bit.

"They'll just have to ride this path with us right now."

Bennett said the club was on a rocky road, and didn't expect the results to come immediately - but that he was determined to drag them away from the inconsistent group of recent seasons.

"We've got a choice. We can be the team they've been the last couple of years or we can aspire to be better than that," he said.

"That's where we're heading. We want to be better. That means change."

BRISBANE 24 (A Glenn, J Hodges, G Beale, M Gillett; P Wallace 4 goals) bt NEWCASTLE 10 (A Uate, J McManus tries; M Hilder goal) at Hunter Stadium. Referees: Shayne Hayne, Gavin Morris.Crowd: 23,894.

 

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Round 1
Thu, 03 MarTimes shown AEDT
PAR vs BRI 20:05Pirtek
Fri, 04 MarTimes shown AEDT
MAN vs CBY 20:05BO
Sat, 05 MarTimes shown AEDT
CBR vs PEN 15:00GIO
WST vs NZW 17:30CSS
NQL vs CRO 19:301300
Sun, 06 MarTimes shown AEDT
SYD vs SOU 16:00AS
GCT vs NEW 18:30Cbus
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MEL vs STG 19:00AAMI
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PEN vs CBY 20:05Pepp
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CBR vs SYD 15:00GIO
SOU vs NEW 17:30ANZ
PAR vs NQL 19:30Pirtek
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CRO vs STG 16:00Shark Park
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NEW vs CBR 17:30HS
PEN vs BRI 19:30Pepp
GCT vs WST 21:30Cbus
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NZW vs MEL 14:00MSS
STG vs SOU 16:00SCG
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CBR vs GCT 17:30GIO
SYD vs MAN 19:30AS
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STG vs PEN 16:00WIN
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Thu, 31 MarTimes shown AEDT
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PAR vs PEN 16:00Pirtek
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NZW vs MAN 17:30MSS
PEN vs NQL 19:30Pepp
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CBR vs WST 17:30GIO
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NEW vs MAN 14:00HS
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Round 9
Thu, 28 AprTimes shown AEST
SOU vs WST 19:50ANZ
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Thu, 12 MayTimes shown AEST
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CRO vs MAN 19:30Shark Park
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CBY vs SYD 16:00ANZ
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Fri, 27 MayTimes shown AEST
BRI vs WST 19:50SUN
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CBR vs CBY 16:00GIO
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Fri, 03 JunTimes shown AEST
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NQL vs NEW 17:301300
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Thu, 09 JunTimes shown AEST
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PAR vs GCT 17:30TIO
SYD vs MEL 19:30AS
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Fri, 17 JunTimes shown AEST
SOU vs PAR 19:50ANZ
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Fri, 24 JunTimes shown AEST
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NEW vs STG 15:00HS
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WST vs PEN 17:30ANZ
CRO vs PAR 19:30Shark Park
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Round 18
Fri, 08 JulTimes shown AEST
PAR vs SYD 19:50Pirtek
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CBR vs NQL 19:00GIO
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Round 19
Fri, 15 JulTimes shown AEST
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MAN vs NZW 17:30nib Stadium
SOU vs BRI 19:30ANZ
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PEN vs PAR 16:00Pepp
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Round 20
Thu, 21 JulTimes shown AEST
NQL vs CBY 19:501300
Fri, 22 JulTimes shown AEST
BRI vs PEN 19:50SUN
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CBR vs NZW 15:00GIO
GCT vs PAR 17:30Cbus
MEL vs SYD 19:30AAMI
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STG vs WST 16:00ANZ
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SOU vs MAN 19:00ANZ
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Round 21
Wed, 27 JulTimes shown AEST
NZW vs PEN 22:00MSS
Thu, 28 JulTimes shown AEST
SYD vs BRI 00:00AS
CBY vs STG 00:00ANZ
GCT vs CRO 00:00Cbus
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SOU vs CBR 00:00ANZ
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Round 22
Thu, 04 AugTimes shown AEST
STG vs BRI 00:00WIN
PAR vs MAN 00:00Pirtek
CRO vs CBR 00:00Shark Park
NEW vs CBY 00:00HS
MEL vs SOU 00:00AAMI
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PEN vs SYD 00:00Pepp
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Round 23
Wed, 10 AugTimes shown AEST
NZW vs SOU 22:00MSS
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BRI vs PAR 00:00SUN
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SYD vs NQL 00:00AS
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Round 24
Thu, 18 AugTimes shown AEST
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NEW vs GCT 00:00HS
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MAN vs MEL 00:00BO
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SOU vs CRO 00:00ANZ
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Round 25
Wed, 24 AugTimes shown AEST
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Thu, 25 AugTimes shown AEST
CBY vs NQL 00:00Belmore Sports Ground
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Round 26
Wed, 31 AugTimes shown AEST
NZW vs PAR 22:00MSS
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NQL vs GCT 00:001300
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PEN vs MAN 00:00Pepp
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