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Recap | The Knock-On Effect NSW Cup Round 1

Round 1 of The Knock-On Effect NSW Cup kicks off on Saturday with the Dragons taking on the Eels which will be streamed live on NSWRL TV. There will be three more games on Saturday followed by the Magpies v Mounties and Knights v Bears on Sunday.

Jets v Raiders

Panthers v Sea Eagles

Dragons v Eels

Rabbitohs v Bulldogs

Magpies v Mounties

Knights v Bears


Newtown Jets v Canberra Raiders

Jets v Raiders NSW Cup Highlights Round 1

Jets kick off 2022 with dominant win over Raiders

Anthony Eltarraf

Game summary

The Newtown Jets provided a dominant display on Saturday afternoon, defeating the error-plagued Canberra Raiders 36-22 at Henson Park.

Three tries within the first fifteen minutes showed promise of a most entertaining opening game at Henson Park, with Luke Metcalf opening the scoring in just the 3rd minute, before Canberra’s number eight Ata Mariota levelled the score just three minutes later. The ever-lively Jayden Berrell then crossed over in the 13th minute to hand Newtown the lead once again.

It looked to be a tight game after Raiders’ star fullback Xavier Savage showcased his speed and strength to power his way over the line to level the scores up again at 12-all.

It was all Jets for the remainder of the first half, with tries to a barging Charbel Tasipale and Myles Taueli taking Newtown to a 24-12 lead at half time.

The Jets withstood a mountain of goal line pressure to begin the first half, rewarding themselves with a well-deserved try to extend their lead through fullback Lachlan Miller.

It was the Raiders’ speedsters who lit up Henson Park for the next ten minutes, with Rayden Burns getting on the end of a Raiders kick from their own half to toe it forward himself, before planting it down. Savage then crossed for his second try, gliding through the Jets’ line to narrow the gap to eight points.

Newtown spoiled the party of a Canberra comeback and sent the almost 9,000 crowd into a frenzy after a beautiful backline spread, which led to Tyla Tamou diving over in the corner to finish.

With Luke Metcalf converting all but one penalty attempt, the Jets finished the game with an emphatic 36-22 win over the Canberra Raiders.

Talking points

The Newtown Jets look lethal all over the park as they were able to score all over the pitch, while defending their line bravely for the majority of the game.

Jets hooker Jayde Berrell continues to stake his claim for NRL game time as his energy and composure proved substantial for the Jets throughout the match.

Though it was a disappointing loss for the Raiders, there is still plenty to like, especially in star fullback Savage, who showed glimpses of his ability throughout the match.

Key moment

There was not one key moment that changed the complexion of the game, however errors seemed to plague the Canberra Raiders as they continued to mount pressure on themselves, handing the ball over to the home team in good field position throughout the game.

What's next?

The Jets move on to another home game, this time at PointsBet Stadium next week against the Parramatta Eels, with both teams out to remain unbeaten for their 2022 campaign.

The Canberra Raiders travel to Accor Stadium to take on the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs next week, as they aim to secure their first win of the 2022 campaign.


St George Illawarra Dragons v Parramatta Eels

Opacic and Rein run riot in Eels romp

Andrew McEnallay

Game summary

There was plenty of star power in the opening game of The Knock-On Effect NSW Cup with representative players Tariq Sims, Nathan Brown and George Burgess all on deck for their respective clubs.

The Eels found themselves in attacking field position through some strong ball running from Ky Rodwell and Brown. Soon after, they were able to capitalise through centre Tom Opacic, who scored the first try of the 2022 season after some slick backline play. Jordan Rankin converted to put the Eels up 6-0.

Opacic combined with Hayze Perham yet again and crashed over for his second try and from there, it was all Parramatta as they went into the sheds 12-0 up at halftime

Tries to Opacic and Mitch Rein, who was arguably the best on ground, put the Eels up 22-0 until Ethan Clark-Wood hit back for the Dragons with a great solo effort.

Elie El-Zakhem crashed over and Opacic finished the game with another try to take his tally to four to help the Eels to a comprehensive 34-6 win.

Talking points

Perham, Rein and Rodwell were all exceptional in the Eels first hit-out of 2022 although four try hero Opacic will no doubt be putting plenty of pressure on first grade centre pairing Will Penisini and Waqa Blake in the coming weeks.

Key moment

With the Eels up 6-0, Rein kicked early in the tackle count putting the ball perfectly in the Dragons in-goal. A great kick-chase saw the Eels force a repeat set as they started to build some pressure.

Soon after, Opacic scored his second try off an almost identical play when he linked up with Perham on a sweeping backline play. After Rankin converted, the Eels led 12-0.

What's next?

It’s an uphill battle for the Dragons as they face off against competition heavyweights Penrith Panthers in Round Two while the Eels will play Newtown Jets on Saturday afternoon.


South Sydney Rabbitohs v Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs

Rabbitohs v Bulldogs NSW Cup Highlights Round 1

Dogs mark NSW Cup return with victory at Belmore

Patrick Staveley

Game summary

The Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs have kicked off their Knock-On Effect NSW Cup campaign with a 24-16 victory over the South Sydney Rabbitohs at Belmore Oval.

Goal-kicking ended up being a key factor with both sides scoring four tries as South Sydney failed to land a single kick.

It was a topsy-turvy affair following an opening 15 minutes which was dominated by the Bulldogs without points to show for it. Eli Clark posted the first points of the game to launch the Dogs into the lead after a tidy show-and-go to beat the Rabbitohs' defence. Clark’s try kicked the game into gear with South Sydney responding shortly after with a sublime offload from Isaiah Tass finding Izack Thompson to cross in the corner.

South Sydney worked their way up to a dangerous position shortly after following a kick-off that went out on the full. Richie Kennar, who was previously signed to the Bulldogs, doubled Souths’ lead four minutes later when Canterbury’s Isaac Lumelume rushed up off his line.

The teams continued to trade barbs as Declan Casey scored off a blistering 80 metre burst for the Dogs before the Rabbitohs again managed to pull level with some brilliant second phase play, finishing with a try to Malia Chan-Foon before halftime.

With scores locked at 12-all, it was the Bulldogs who came out hungrier in the second half. A lovely late offload from Harrison Edwards sent fullback Creedence Toia on his way to a try, before a sloppy pass from ex Manly lock James Hasson allowed Jacob Kiraz to soccer the ball along the ground to score a crazy long-range try. Izack Thompson crossed late for some consolation for Souths as the Dogs pick up the two points.

Talking points

While the Bulldogs were victorious, the partnership of Brandon Wakeham and Kyle Flanagan in the halves still needs a bit of work with their kicking game lacking in parts.

Harrison Edwards had a brilliant game and proved very hard for Souths to control. He always had an arm free and was looking to force an offload.

The South Sydney left side looked particularly potent with Tass and Thompson showing the potential to form a strong partnership. Despite a couple of moves falling apart, they displayed a great deal of talent and willingness to play off-the-cuff footy.

Key moment

Declan Casey’s long-range try came against the run of play after a period in which Souths really were starting to get on top. The try swang the pendulum back in the favour of the Bulldogs in the first half and they never fell behind again after that.

What’s next?

Canterbury host the Canberra Raiders at Accor Stadium next Sunday as the curtain-raiser to the Bulldogs’ first grade match while the Rabbitohs travel to Aubrey Keech Reserve to take on Mounties on the same day.


Penrith Panthers v Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles

Panthers v Sea Eagles NSW Cup Highlights Round 1

Panthers prove why they are competition favourites

Stewart Moses

Game summary

The Panthers weren’t troubled in their season-opening 24-4 win over the Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles, with NRL squad member, halfback Kurt Falls scoring one and having a hand in another. It was clear the home side lived up to the hype of entering the 2022 Knock On Effect Cup season as competition favourites.

Penrith finally made some early territorial dominance count when Falls carried four defenders across the line to score from the scrum-base in the 16th minute.

Although clearly the better side, the Panthers had to wait until the 34th minute to add further points when quick hands from skipper Matt Eisenhuth and Falls put centre Robert Jennings into a yawning gap to score out wide. The missed conversion from the eastern touchline ensured Penrith would go into half-time leading 10-0.

Soni Luke, one of Penrith’s best on-field, scored with a classic hooker’s show and go from dummy-half early in the second half to push the Panthers’ lead out to 16 in the 45th minute.

Jennings turned provider, setting up fullback Sunia Turuva to score the try of the game in the 58th minute to put the game well out of Blacktown’s reach despite the failed conversion attempt from Falls.

Blacktown finally opened their account in the 60th minute with a try in the corner to backrower Andrew Davey to trail 20-4. Fiveminuts later, winger Thomas Jenkins showed some neat foot-work close to the line to crash over out wide to hand Penrith a 24-4 win.

Talking points

The 25th minute marked the return of former Cowboys, Panthers, Sharks and Broncos hooker James Segeyaro, making his Blacktown debut, coming off the bench in the 25th minute, with some encouraging signs from the ex-NRL hooker in his first competitive game back from a lengthy drugs suspension, lasting until the 75th minute.

Panthers hooker Soni Luke, celebrated his first competitive game as a member of Penrith’s top 30 NRL squad with an industrious performance from dummy half, capped by a smart individual try from dummy half early in the second half. He is seen a potential successor to outgoing NRL hooker, Api Koroisau, having recently signed a two-year deal with the club. 

Key moment

Midway through the second half it was the Robert Jennings and Sunia Turuva show, with the latter laying on a short pass to put the veteran centre into the gap from just inside Sea Eagles territory. Turuva then backed up on the inside to somehow duck and weave his way to the tryline despite attracting the attention of several defenders to score a spectacular try that put an exclamation mark on Penrith’s dominant performance. Despite showing plenty of courage in defence at this point in the game, Blacktown still trailed 20-0.

What's next?

The Panthers travel to Collegians Sporting Complex in round two for a Saturday 1pm meeting with the Dragons as they look for back-to-back wins to start the season.

The Sea Eagles will have the benefit of a bye next weekend, before they return to action at Four Pines Park against the Bulldogs, as they look to avoid a 0-2 start to 2022. 


Western Suburbs Mapgies v Mounties

Magpies v Mounties NSW Cup Highlights Round 1

Mounties take big Magpies scalp to begin 2022 campaign

Tom Gibbs

Game summary

A strong first half performance was enough for Mounties to secure a 20-16 win over competition heavyweights the Western Suburbs Magpies in the opening round of the Knock-On Effect NSW Cup at Kirkham Oval on Sunday.

During the opening exchanges the visiting side had several opportunities in the attacking zone before eventually breaking the deadlock in the 6th minute. Halfback Coby Thomas hoisted the ball into the air on last tackle which came loose in the contest as Mounties backrower Dean Matterson pounced on the scraps, passing wide for winger Watson Heleta to score.

Further ill-discipline by the hosts saw Mounties back in try scoring range soon after, scoring their second with a crash play for lock forward Ben Petauuaine Seufale to power over beside the upright. Within five minutes Matterson scored a try of his own and a second successful conversion from Jarrett Subloo extended Mounties’ lead to 20-0.

After 32 minutes, second-rower Tom Freebairn finally got Western Suburbs off the mark for the 2022 season, racing infield from the right flank and diving onto a well-placed Jock Madden grubber. The No. 7 failed to add the extras.

On the stroke of halftime, however, Mounties were in again as centre Semisi Kioa evaded three defenders to score off a scrum play from 10 metres out.

It was an uneventful second half as the score-line remained 20-4 until the 75th minute when Kei and Madden scored four-pointers, yet with not enough time to turn around the result. Madden converted both tries to bring the final score to 20-16.

Talking points

Mounties dominating the middle of the park. The forward pack for the black and gold proved themselves as a near unstoppable presence in the middle-third, particularly in the first half, constantly forcing Wests to find their way out of tough field position as a result.

Western Suburbs’ ill-discipline was costly in the opening round, giving away penalties on several occasions to allow Mounties into good ball areas. This ultimately caught up to them early in the second half with back-to-back sin bins, which effectively halted any hopes of overcoming what was a 16-point margin at the time.

Key moment

The turning point in the contest was Semisi Kioa’s try – Mounties fourth – only moments from the halftime break.

As the Magpies looked to shift momentum back with their opening try through Tom Freebairn, Kioa finding his way through some suspect defending minutes later made the second half task just too daunting for the hosts to initiate a comeback.

What’s next?

The Magpies will take part in the NSW Cup’s first edition of Monday night football for 2022 on 21 March, taking on Newcastle at Morry Breen Oval from 5:30pm.

Mounties return to Aubrey Keech Reserve for the side’s first home game following their big Round 1 win against the highly-touted Magpies, facing off against South Sydney Rabbitohs at 3:00pm on Sunday.


Newcastle Knights v North Sydney Bears

Knights v Bears NSW Cup Highlights Round 1

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