Brisbane Broncos have now lost four games in a row since the game’s resumption after Newcastle Knights emerged 27-6 victors at Central Coast Stadium.
Brisbane had won their opening two games of the season but injuries and suspensions have meant that coach Anthony Seibold has relied heavily on youth and thus far since lockdown, they have been unable to gain any victories.
Meanwhile for the Knights, Adam O’Brien has had a superb start to his career as a head coach with his side rising to second on the ladder off the back of this victory.
Newcastle started the game well and got their reward on ten minutes when Mitchell Pearce put Kurt Mann through a hole. Then Mann’s kick, with Brisbane’s Jamayne Isaako in the bin for a professional foul, set up Hymel Hunt as Newcastle doubled their lead to 12.
Brisbane didn’t have many opportunities in the first half. Corey Oates was denied a try on 15 minutes because Jamayne Isaako acted as a driver as Newcastle attempted to hold Oates up. But they did score an opportunist try when Xavier Coates intercepted Andrew McCullough’s pass and ran the length of the field with it.
Newcastle finished the first half with a field goal from Pearce and started the second half just as well. After only four minutes, Daniel Saifiti exposed some poor Brisbane defending. Then things went from bad to worse for Brisbane. Patrick Carrigan was sent to the bin for a late tackle on Pearce. Newcastle elected to take the two points through Ponga.
The Knights were content with their lead but still added to it with a try through Pearce with two minutes to play.
Knights: Ponga, Lee, Best, Shibasaki, Hunt, Mann, Pearce, Klemmer, McCullough, D Saifiti, Fitzgibbon, Mata’utia, Glasby; Interchanges: Ese’ese, Hoy, J Saifiti, Guerra
Tries: Mann, Hunt, D Saifiti, Pearce; Goals: Ponga 5; Field goal: Pearce (40)
Broncos: Isaako, Oates, Farnworth, Boyd, Coates, Milford, Croft, Lodge, Luke, Haas, Glenn, Pangai Jnr, Carrigan; Interchanges: Paix, Te’o, Ofahengaue, Flegler
Tries: Coates; Goals: Farnworth
Sin bin: Isaako (21) – professional foul, Carrigan (59) – late tackle
Full match reports of all this weekend’s NRL games will feature in Monday’s League Express.