Defensive Knights ready for attacking Broncos

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    Wayne Bennett was unable to turn England's fortunes around.

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    The Newcastle Knights are off the mark in season 2012 and will be looking for their first win at Hunter Stadium this Friday night against the Brisbane Broncos.

    In the two premiership games this season the Knights defence has no doubt been a standout. Yes, there were a few moments against Cronulla last Sunday, but overall their defensive effort, especially on their own try line, was brilliant.

    The same great defence was on show a fortnight earlier against a Dragons side that was on their game for the season opener.

    This Friday night at Hunter Stadium we will see the youthful and very skilful Brisbane Broncos against a Knights side full of attacking power out wide matched with a re-invented defensive forward pack.

    Since the Johns era, Newcastle’s attitude has been that if you score three tries we will score five. That attitude may still be there, but since Wayne Bennett has taken over, a more steely defensive line has been presented by the red and blue.

    It is only early days in the 2012 NRL season, but the question of how far the Knights defence has come could be answered on Friday night.

    The loss of captain Kurt Gidley will no doubt hamper the Knights attack, but Bennett has proved over the years that defence is the key to success. Danny Buderus improved 100 percent in Round 2 against the Sharks, as did Kade Snowden and Adam Cuthbertson.

    The Knights will have to be on their game to contain Broncos young guns Josh Hoffman, Jack Read, Josh McGuire and Corey Norman – and don’t forget Justin Hodges, who has shown good form in his opening two games this season.

    A positive for the Knights is that Brisbane can be vulnerable up the middle; Cowboys pair Thurston and Bowen found them out a number of times last week. Buderus is the master of picking when to run from dummy half, so look out for him linking up with Mullen and Boyd when the Broncos forwards get tired.

    It is only Round 3 but already this game could be a pivotal moment for the Knights season. A win without skipper Gidley would give the boys a lot of confidence for the rest of the season.

    In saying that, a loss will not be the end of the world, as there is still a lot of footy to be played between now and the first weekend in October.

    If you could choose from any and every NRL player in the competition, who would you pick in your rugby league dream team? Let us know with our team picker right here, and be sure to share it with all your league-loving mates.

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    The Crowd Says (7)

    • March 14th 2012 @ 5:08pm
      Dan said | March 14th 2012 @ 5:08pm | ! Report

      Go those knights!!

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    • March 14th 2012 @ 5:36pm
      Pete75 said | March 14th 2012 @ 5:36pm | ! Report

      It’ll be awesome once Bennett gets around to every club in the comp. Then nobody will attack.


    • Roar Guru

      March 14th 2012 @ 9:51pm said | March 14th 2012 @ 9:51pm | ! Report

      Before you start calling them the “Defensive Knights” they need to do an about face from what we have seen in Rounds 1 and 2 as to date they are: 14th for Missed Tackles, Last in Offloads Conceded, 14th for Line Breaks Conceded, 13th for Line Breaks Made and 14th for Tackle Breaks Made.
      Most unlike a Bennett coached team.

      • March 14th 2012 @ 10:11pm
        Gaz said | March 14th 2012 @ 10:11pm | ! Report

        Don’t tell Tinkler!

      • March 15th 2012 @ 10:16am
        Shark67 said | March 15th 2012 @ 10:16am | ! Report

        It’s only round 2, and I don’t think you can really take all those stats into account just yet. But from being at the games this season there is already a major improvement compared to last season in defense so I agree. If you were at the game in round 1 you would have noticed a great effort in defense especially on there goal line I

    • March 15th 2012 @ 12:06am
      Pete75 said | March 15th 2012 @ 12:06am | ! Report

      As a side note, does anyone wear a cap worse than Wayne Bennett?

    • March 15th 2012 @ 7:26am
      Crosscoder said | March 15th 2012 @ 7:26am | ! Report

      The Sharks made at least 6 line breaks against Sir Lancelot’s men,and only dropped ball or bad options prevented them from leading by at least 20 nil.

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