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Knights vs Sharks
NRL, 27 May, 2018
|McDonald Jones Stadium|
|Fulltime - Knights 10, Sharks 48|
|Referee: Jon Stone|
|Touch judges: Rohan Best & Matt Noyen|
|Video Referee: Luke Patten|
Matt Moylan turned in easily his best performance since joining Cronulla, laying on six tries and being involved in a seventh in a 48-10 NRL belting of a woeful Newcastle on Sunday.
Newcastle Knights 10
Cronulla Sharks 48
Kalyn Ponga will attempt to inspire the Newcastle Knights back to their best in Round 12 as they host the Cronulla Sharks, who are out to make it six on the trot. Join The Roar for live scores and coverage from 2pm (AEST).
The Knights have been battling the last month. With Mitchell Pearce sitting on the sidelines, their attack has fallen apart and the defence hasn’t been much better.
With tries being scored against them at will, it seems to have created a vicious cycle where they are unable to stop anything, then have no drive in attack. With a revolving halves combination featuring Jack Cogger and Connor Watson (Brock Lamb is now injured), the team haven’t had any continuity in trying to score points and it’s showing.
They look lost at times and despite scoring 26 points against the similarly poor Gold Coast Titans last week, Newcastle let in 33. Their defence can’t be blamed on Pearce though, with a forward pack who are fast falling out of form needing to shoulder the blame.
Newcastle have now lost three games on the trot and as a result have dropped well out of the top eight, sitting in 11th spot on the ladder. While they do have five wins to their name, turning around their form line is a priority if they have visions of playing in September.
Cronulla as well, need to keep winning. After a horrendous start to the start where they won just two of their first six, they have turned things around and got themselves inside the top eight by winning five games straight.
A loss to the Dragons six weeks ago seemed to spark them to life, with a series of close wins getting their season going. While none of them were convincing, they have done what they needed to do – defend well, limit handling errors and control games so their forwards could dominate.
Across their five wins, the total winning margin has been just 21 points, with the last two games the best of the lot, holding on against the Canberra Raiders and getting the better of the Canterbury Bulldogs at home last week.
Josh Dugan made his return last week and will be better this time for the run, while the halves combination of Matt Moylan and Chad Townsend can continue working themselves out in this game with a good chance to run up plenty of points.
The Knights might be back at home where they are traditionally hard to beat, but it’s hard to see where there next win comes from before Pearce gets back from injury.
Sharks by 16.
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