It was a great atmosphere at Hunter Stadium on Friday night, with the Knights hosting the Broncos for the second home game of the season.
I knew it was going to be a tough night at the office for the Knights when the Pre-Match entertainment crashed into the goal posts. Before the 1st grade game kicked off, the remote controlled blimp lost its way and went tumbling into the southern goal posts. Not a good omen for the Knights.
It had already been a bad start with the Knights Toyota Cup side going down 24 to 16 to a very sharp Brisbane side. Bronco’s winger Tristian Lumley scored a hat trick in his teams win.
By 8:30pm a crowd of over 23,000 was inside Hunter Stadium. Danny Buderus lead the Knights onto the field as captain in his second game back at Hunter Stadium in the absence of Kurt Gidley. It was not the best start for the red and blue as the Broncos first attacking raid resulted in a try to back rower Alex Glenn. But it didn’t take long for the Knights to hit back with Akuila Uate crossing for the Knights first out wide on the back of some good lead up work from the Knights forwards.
Both sides made mistakes at crucial times, but it seemed to hamper the Knights more than the Broncos. Justin Hodges ran 50 meters for the Broncos second try after pushing off Matt Hilder with a great fend. It reminded me of Broncos greatest ever centre Steve Renouf who had one of the best fends in the game. The Hodges try would give Brisbane a 12- 4 lead at half time.
The second half was similar to the first with Newcastle under pressure from the Broncos attack. A cross field kick from 5/8 Corey Norman looked certain to find one of three Broncos players running through, but it landed in the hands of James McManus who ran 100 metres towards the northern end to score the try to put the Knights closer.
With 20 minutes to go, the Knights were behind by 2 points and somehow still a chance. Another attacking raid down Newcastle’s right side defence opened the door again for the Broncos with winger Gerard Beale scoring. The game was over for the Knights with 10 to go when Matt Gillett crossed for the Broncos fourth try of the match. A late penalty to Brisbane saw their lead extend by 14 with the final score 24-10.
The Knights are on the road for the next two weeks and will return to Hunter Stadium against Parramatta Eels on Sunday 8th April.