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Wests Tigers suffered a disappointing 42-10 loss to Newcastle Knights at Hunter Stadium tonight in round one of the Telstra Premiership.

The match marked the first game under new Coach Mick Potter and also the NRL debut for promising young prop Jack Buchanan.

Aaron Woods came off the interchange bench after recovering from a knee injury to play his first game of the season. It also marked the club debut for Braith Anasta.

Wests Tigers opened the scoring in the 5th minute when lock Adam Blair ran onto a short pass from dummy half and captain Robbie Farah to spin away in the tackle of second-rower Chris Houston. Five-eighth Benji Marshall converted for a 6-0 lead.

The Knights hit back in the 10th minute when winger James McNamus dived over in the left corner after a cut out pass by full-back Darius Boyd. Half-back and captain Kurt Gidley failed to convert from the sideline to leave Wests Tigers with a 6-4 lead.

Video referees Henry Perenara and Steve Clark ruled no try in the 16th minute to Boyd after he lost the ball in trying to score in a tackle made by Marshall.

Newcastle winger Akuila Uate gave his side an 8-6 lead in the 22nd minute when he dived over in the right corner. It came from his own break after a kick from Wests Tigers half-back Jacob Miller.

Uate sliced through the attempted tackle of second-rower Braith Anasta before stepping past two defenders before a Knights player got tackled on the 20 metre line.

A quick play the ball saw the Knights spread the ball right for Uate to score. Gidley converted the try for a 10-6 lead to Newcastle.

The Knights went to a 14-6 lead in the 26th minute when a loose cut out pass by five-eighth Jarrod Mullen saw the ball bounce in between centre Chris Lawrence and winger Marika Koroibete for centre Dane Gagai to score out wide. Gidley converted for a 16-6 lead.

Gidley extended Newcastles lead to 18-6 through a penalty goal in front of the posts in the 33rd minute.

A drop pass by prop Matt Bell and then a desperate pass out wide saw the ball bounce up for Gagai to swoop on in to race 35 metres to score out wide despite the strong chase by Koroibete.

Gidley converted the try to give Newcastle a 24-6 lead after 38 minutes.

Desperate scrambling defence by Farah, Blake Ayshford and Matt Utai inside the final 20 seconds saw them hold up centre Anthony Quinn over the line to leave the Knights leading 24-6 at half-time.

2nd Half

The video referees were called on again in the 46th minute to rule on whether there was an obstruction in Uates second try. The try was awarded for a 28-6 lead. Gidley converted the try for a 30-6 scoreline.

Uate grabbed his third try in the 49th minute when he burrowed his way over from dummy half to push off half Jacob Miller. Gidley failed to convert for a 34-6 lead to Newcastle.

The Scottish bagpipes were sounding again in the 55th minute when a crossfield kick by Mullenm saw McManus leap above Utai for his second try for a 38-6 lead. Utai was replaced immediately by Joel Reddy.

Gidley converted for a 40-6 lead.

Gidley converted a penalty goal from in front of the posts in the 38th minute after Wests Tigers were penalised for raking the ball out in a tackle.

Wests Tigers were denied a try to full-back Tim Moltzen in the 76th minute after the video referee ruled he had pushed second-rower Jeremy Smith out of the way in scoring from a Farah grubber kick.

Marshall was held up across the line next to the posts inside the final minute.

A short ball by Marshall put Moltzen over on the full-time siren. Marshall failed to convert the try for the 42-10 scoreline.
Acknowledgement of Country

Wests Tigers respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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