The Knights celebrated the 200th game of Steve Simpson in style, beating the South Sydney Rabbitohs 25-20 in front of nearly 15,000 Newcastle fans at the Monday Night NRL fixture.
The Knights opening with an uptempo style and aided by strong showings during the game from veteran Adam McDougall and half Jarrod Mullen.
For Souths it was the same old story in 2009, they show promise in patches, at one stage scoring a great try through several sets of hands – but are unable to consistently hang on to the ball and were forcing the pass way too often.
Souths were helped by workhorse signing Michael Crocker who has added some stability to their forwards, but simple errors continue to cost the Jason Taylor coached side as they struggle to remain in touch with the NRL leaders.
For Newcastle, another win was ideal – but the style in which they are winning must be pleasing coach Brian Smith. The Knights have been clinical in the victories and a smart snap field goal to Jarrod Mullen late in the piece ensured they would snare the 2 points as they virtually cement themselves into the Top 8 for the 2009 NRL season.
Barring injuries, the Knights will remain a force come semi-finals time and their strong but mobile outside backs are proving extremely potent as the likes of Mullen and Gidley run the plays around nicely.
For Souths, the final weeks of the competition will remain tough as the pressure will continue to build. With the likes of Jason Taylor, John Lang and Gordon Tallis all assisting – there is no excuse for the Bunnies not to make the Top 8 finals series.
They have the playing personnel and the coaching roster other clubs would kill for. They just need to put it all together.