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Match Report: Round 2 vs Knights

Wests Tigers have suffered a narrow 14-12 defeat to the Newcastle Knights at Leichhardt Oval.

Newcastle were reduced to twelve men for more than twenty-five minutes, but the home side’s error-riddled attack was unable to take full advantage.

Knights five-eighth Kalyn Ponga lasted just two minutes on the field before he was knocked out in a heavy collision with Asu Kepaoa.

Newcastle’s woes soon worsened as Jayden Brailey was taken from the field for a head injury assessment, which he failed.

Despite these setbacks, the Knights overcame an early Wests Tigers onslaught and posted the first points of the match through Dominic Young.

It didn’t take long for the visitors to double their lead, with former Wests Tigers halfback Jackson Hastings putting Lachlan Fitzgibbon through a hole in the defensive line.

Asu Kepaoa looked to have claimed the hosts’ first points of the afternoon with a barnstorming run, but the try was disallowed due to an obstruction.

A Luke Brooks’ line break brought the Leichhardt faithful to their feet as Dominic Young was sent to the sin bin for tackling Brent Naden off the ball.

The crowd rose as one when Alex Twal looked to have crashed over the line for his first career NRL try, only to have it removed due to a knock on.

However, Wests Tigers struck on the very next set as Adam Doueihi and Tommy Talau combined to give Asu Kepaoa his first try of the new season.

Despite a number of late chances, the home side couldn’t steal the lead before the break as Newcastle hit the sheds holding a 10-6 lead.

A high tackle from Dane Gagai put Wests Tigers back on the attack to start the second half, but Adam Doueihi was unable to find an unmarked David Nofoaluma on his outside.

Luke Brooks found the line with a 40/20 shortly after, but errors continued to hamper the home side and invited the Knights back into attacking territory.

The visitors duly accepted the invitation by powering past a brave defensive line for a try to Dominic Young.

The Leichhardt crowd was fuming when Jake Simpkin was collected high by Jacob Saifiti.

Referee Peter Gough accepted the calls from the Wayne Pearce Hill and gave Saifiti his marching orders.

However, errors continued cruel the home side, who struggled to convert Saifiti’s absence into any points.

Stefano Utoikamanu eventually crashed over to narrow the lead to just two points with one minute remaining.

A penalty against Phoenix Crossland provided the home side with one last opportunity to level the scores, but a 40-metre field goal curled away from the posts.

Luke Brooks was a standout for the home side despite the loss with 111 run metres, a line break and a 40/20.

Wests Tigers will now set their sights on Belmore Oval, where they will be hoping to notch their first victory of the season against the Bulldogs next Sunday.

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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