They were put under pressure all week by their coach Wayne Bennett, as the Newcastle Knights looked to get back into the winners circle after a run of poor form and they did just that – as they cruised past the Canterbury Bulldogs 44-8 at Hunter Stadium.
It was a capitulation against the Raiders that left Bennett disappointed, though that aspect of the Knights game disappeared as they cruised to victory in front of over 18,000 – a win that pleased Bennett.
“It was a lot better than the way we've played over the last two weeks,” Bennett said.
“We needed to come here today and play well and we have done that, which was good as otherwise our season would have been under a fair bit of pressure.”
For Bulldogs coach Des Hasler, he knows a comfortable win when he sees one and he was full of praise for the Knights side, whilst lamenting his side's inability to hold onto the football.
“You have to congratu
late Newcastle, coming off the back of what they came off last week, they almost pulled off the perfect game,” Hasler said.
“I think they completed 95 per cent of their sets .. they were very controlled and very on for the game today.
“For us it was the other end of the scale. We were disappointed with how we went today.
At halftime at 12-8 we were well within a shout … but you can't go five from 12 in a half of football and expect to compete.”
Another aspect of the game that annoyed Hasler was the number of penalties – 21 in total for this game – an aspect that Hasler believes has to improve.
“There were 21 penalties, I know what Daniel is trying to do, but it has to stop,” he said.
“It spoils the contest, it's pedantic and over-refereed.
“I said before the game the penalty count would be 6-1 or 8-2 and sure enough at halftime the count was 8-3 our way.
“Then in the space of five minutes it was 8-7 and ends up being 11-9.
“Generally across the board there is too much stop-start.”
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