If you had been expecting a close game between the two sides, you would be sadly mistaken, as the Newcastle Knights obliterated the Wests Tigers at Hunter Stadium last night – winning 42-10 to move them into first spot after Rd 1.
It was a clinical performance by the home side, with Fijian flyer Akuila Uate, who recently re-signed with the club on a new long-term deal, scoring 3 tries.
It was the Tigers who initially took the lead through recruit Adam Blair, but after that, it was all one-way traffic, as Knights centre Dane Gagai and winger James McManus scored two tries of their own.
Despite the positive start his side made, Knights coach Wayne Bennett knows that they cannot afford to get carried away after just one win.
“There may be people looking over their shoulders, but I wouldn’t say it was a statement,” Bennett said.
“The first thing we have to do is not look ahead too far to Manly next week.
“We need to look at ourselves, get over our bumps and bruises and then we’ll worry about Manly later in the week.”
There was a slight injury concern for five-eighth Jarrod Mullen, but Bennett dismissed it as a slight one, saying it was merely a precaution to take the play-maker off.
“I wanted to give Tyrone Roberts a bit of time out there that was all, but there is no problems with Jarrod,” he said.
Tigers coach Mick Potter outlined one thing – his side needs to improve, and fast, if they are to have any chance against Penrith at Campbelltown Stadium this week.
“It was disappointing, in a lot of areas we could have done a lot better, but the scoreline doesn’t read very well,” Potter said.
“Early, everything was going to plan, but we slowly deteriorated and came up with errors and gave away silly penalties and a lot of possession.
“You can’t do that and expect to win games.”
3. Akuila Uate
2. Jarrod Mullen
1. Dane Gagai