The Knights Under 20’s have outclassed the Panthers today, running in 6 tries to 2 for a 34-8 win at Hunter Stadium.
Penrith’s defence throughout the match was shaky and we let in a few soft tries. We also struggled to break through Newcastle’s strong backline and could only get up our end of the field a few times over the 80 minutes.
The Knights were solid throughout and were relentless in attack, which ended up exhausting the Panthers boys.
The home side were first to put points on the board when Penrith let down their guard a few metres out from Newcastle’s line and five-eighth Brock Lamb ran straight through a gaping hole and put the ball down behind the posts. The kick from in front sailed straight through the upright to give the Knights a 6-0 lead, six minutes into the game.
Newcastle dominated possession for the next 10 minutes and only let the Panthers close to their line once or twice. They crossed for their second try in the 18th minute when fullback Dylan Phythian barged his way through our backline and got the ball down to score. With the conversion, their lead extended to 12-0.
The home side had their third unanswered try 5 minutes later when halfback Jack Cogger collected the ball a few metres out from his line and ran hard towards our defence, before burrowing his way underneath our players to get the ball down. The kick was on target, taking the score to 18-0.
With just over 11 minutes until the half time break the Panthers had their first try of the game after winger Josh Jay was on the receiving end of a huge cut out pass, and he sprinted 10m to the line, diving over just inside the corner post. The kick was waved away so the Knights kept an 18-4 lead.
The home side almost added another 4 points to their haul a couple of minutes out from the half time break when Braden Wilson put a grubber kick to the corner of the in-goal and chased hard, getting his hands to the ball and getting it down just before it went dead. But Penrith challenged and won, after the video ref found his foot was out when he grounded the ball.
HALF TIME: 18-4 Knights
The home side were quick to add more points to their tally this half, and in the 47th minute centre Josh Birch drove hard at their line and carried two Panthers defenders about 5m before falling over to score. The conversion was unsuccessful, so they extended their lead to 22-4.
We fired back in our next set after running the ball up to our 10m line and sending it out to the left, where Christian Crichton drove hard towards the in-goal before being met by several Knights defenders. He managed to offload to Jay who was unmarked on the wing, and he ran the ball over the line. The sideline conversion was waved away, so the score went to 22-8 in the 53rd minute.
Newcastle replied with another try of their own in the 61st minute when their hooker barrelled his way through the middle of our defensive line and dived over to score next to the uprights. The kick put them in front 28-8.
With 11 minutes left on the clock, Josh Jay almost crossed for his third try of the game, after Brent Naden managed to offload the ball over the top of a few defenders’ heads, putting him into some space on the wing. But the Knights challenged and won, so it was play on.
Newcastle extended their lead again in the 72nd minute when their hooker got the ball close enough to their line to roll on his back and ground the ball above his head. The conversion blew the score out to 34-8.
They almost backed that up in the next set when their #3 broke our line and took off down the field before passing to his winger, but he wasn’t ready for the ball and dropped it a few metres out from his line. It didn’t matter though – they would walk away with a convincing win.
FULL TIME: 34-8 Knights