Coming of three consecutive wins and with a huge build-up leading into the Rise For Alex round last week, the Knights were short priced favourites to defeat the Titans who had only won one of their previous eight matches.
In front of a capacity home-crowd, it was the biggest game the Knights will be involved in this year and to lose 22 – 8 was nothing short of disappointing.
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The Knights, who despite having everything in the game to play for, were flat and never in the hunt, crossing for the first of their two tries of the match in the 61st minute of the game.
The effort even had Coach Wayne Bennett perplexed stating post match, “There is no reason for that type of performance here from us. I just can’t get my head around it.”
With Bennett’s suspected move back to the Broncos confirmed earlier this week, it’s anyone’s guess what kind of performance the Knights will then produce this week.
The Roosters took on the competition co-leaders last week in Penrith and after an inexplicable loss to the Sharks in round 17, had the bye in round 18 to regroup and ready themselves for the challenge.
The Roosters got off to a good start with Aidan Guerra – who started in the centres, scoring just after six minutes. A further two first half tries to Mitch Aubusson and Remi Casty, had the Roosters well placed at the break and with a lead the Panthers couldn’t real in.
It was the first win in three matches for the Roosters and signalled what they’re capable of when at or near their best.
The Roosters haven’t been playing to the same standard as they were when winning the premiership last year but, they’ve still be winning games and after the recent bye and near full strength squad at their disposal now that Origin is behind us, the Roosters have no excuses for no producing a high standard from here until the finals.
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HEAD TO HEAD
Newcastle’s only win over the Roosters in six games since 2010, came with an 18 – 10 win back in 2011.
The Knights have lost the last four matches against the Roosters all by 13+, and haven’t registered more than 14 points per game against the Roosters during that time.
The Knights struggled to post points against the Titans and with the Roosters clocking up 26 or more points in six of their last seven matches, it’s hard to see the Knights posting enough points here to worry the Roosters who should win handsomely.
Knights: Darius Boyd, James McManus, Dane Gagai, Joseph Leilua, Akuila Uate, Jarrod Mullen, Tyrone Roberts, Kade Snowden, Adam Clydsdale, Willie Mason, Beau Scott, Robbie Rochow, Jeremy Smith. Interchange: Travis Waddell, Korbin Sims, Adam Cuthbertson, David Fa’alogo
Roosters: Anthony Minichiello, Nene Macdonald, Mitchell Aubusson, Shaun Kenny-Dowall, Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, James Maloney, Mitchell Pearce, Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, Jake Friend, Sam Moa, Boyd Cordner, Sonny Bill Williams, Aidan Guerra. Interchange: Frank Paul Nuuausala, Isaac Liu, Dylan Napa, Remi Casty