Broncos finals hopes in dis-array

An astonishing 4 try performance from Cooper Vuna has handed the Newcastle Knights a 44-18 win over a lacklustre Broncos side at Energy Australia Stadium.

The loss leaves the Broncos finals hopes in jeopardy as they will now need to rely on other results over the next few weeks in order to make the finals. It is the first time since 1991 that the Broncos may not make the finals.

It was a historic night for three Knights players in particular, all of whom are now firmly etched in Knights history. Cooper Vuna, Akuila Uate and Adam McDougall are all now in the Knights history books for different reasons.

Vuna was the star in the win – as he became the fourth player to score 4 tries for the Knights in a game (Darren Albert, Adam McDougall and Andrew Johns were the others).

Uate had earlier matched Timana Tahu’s single-season record of 21 tries, with veteran back Adam McDougall now tying Tahu’s milestone of 82 tries as a red-hot spell just before half-time gave the Knights a handy lead going into half-time.

The Broncos without inspirational captain Darren Lockyer looked to be in control at one stage before falling apart in a big way, so much so that they were out of the game by the start of the second half.

The game was not without it’s controversy though as the Broncos were unlucky not to be awarded a penalty try after Kurt Gidley tackled Broncos flyer Jharal Yow Yeh without the ball following a grubber.

Video ref Paul Simpkins opted not to award the try, and to make matters worse, Gidley who was unlucky not to be sin-binned for the offence scored soon after the controversial decision to kick-start proceedings for the Knights.

Knights coach Rick Stone was over the moon with the performance and labelled it the Knights best of the season.

“We played controlled footy and scored some terrific tries and it was great to produce in front of our home crowd who have been so patient and loyal, that was probably the best thing”, Stone says.

The Knights need to win their remaining two games and hope other results go their way, and coach Rick Stone believes that they can do it.

“If you are going to beat the Dragons, then you have to play outside of  the square and I felt at times we did that”, says Stone.

Whilst Broncos coach Ivan Henjak admitted that his side was outplayed, he was shell-shocked as to why Ben Cummins was ref in this game after he was under fire for some poor decisions last week.

“I can’t believe a referee who has been criticised so much by the home side was given their game the next week”, says Henjak.

“The Knights definitely didn’t struggle in the penalty count this week did they?”

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