If you had told anyone earlier this week that the Newcastle Knights would beat the Sydney Roosters in round 1, you probably would have been laughed at and told you’re dreaming but that is exactly what happened today.

Today’s match between the Knights and the Roosters was going to be an interesting one regardless of the final score, with a few changes to both line ups.

Ex-Rooster Mitchell Pearce leaving Newcastle at the end of the 2021 season to play in the English Super League and both Connor Watson and Paul Momirovski returning to Bondi.

Kalyn Ponga being appointed Knights captain, and all of the players who have returned from injuries suffered during the tumultuous 2021 season.

The Knights ran riot over the premiership favourites, beating the Roosters 20 – 6 at the SCG this afternoon.

It was a sluggish start from the Knights who struggled with their kicking game early on but it wasn’t long before they turned it around.

The Roosters went over early and in typical Roosters style with multiple pairs of hands involved, but the try was reviewed and ruled no try due to an obstruction on David Klemmer by Connor Watson.

It wasn’t long before the Knights retaliated, with Dane Gagai scoring in the 16th minute from a bomb that was fumbled by James Tedesco, giving Gagai the opportunity to pounce.

There was another opportunity soon after for them to make it 2 tries in a matter of minutes, only for Lachlan Fitzgibbon to knock on.

Victor Radley went off for an HIA 2 minutes after a nasty clash with Jake Clifford and did not return to the game.

Radley will now follow the HIA protocols before next week to deem if he is fit to play. 

The Knights went over again in the 33rd minute courtesy of Enari Tuala off a superb flick pass from Bradman Best, who was one of the best players on the park. 

The Roosters ended the first half with a penalty kick thanks to the Knights not clearing the ruck, making it a 10 – 2 score line going into the half time break.

Fitzgibbon was seen struggling with a lower leg issue when he ran onto the field for the second half, leaving spectators and commentary confused as to when it happened. 

It was later revealed he had rolled his ankle at some stage in the first half but he continued playing.

Less than 5 minutes in and Kurt Mann was taken from the field for an HIA but was cleared to return.

Clifford continued adding the points by scoring off a Roosters dropped pass with 22 minutes left, followed by Knights young gun Dominic Young who added salt to the wounds by scoring in the last 10 minutes of the game.

After 76 minutes, the Roosters finally crossed the line with Paul Momirovski scoring his first try back in the tricolours.

It was the Knights, however, who left with yet another round 1 victory and their first against the Roosters outside of Newcastle since they played them at Gosford in 2010.

Lindsay Collins will probably try not to remember his 50th first grade game, booking himself a date with the judiciary along with Victor Radley, both put on report for separate incidents.

SYDNEY ROOSTERS: 6 (Tries: P. Momirovski Goals: S. Walker 1/2)

NEWCASTLE: 20 (Tries: D. Gagai, Enari Tuala, Jake Clifford, Dominic Young Goals: J. Clifford 2/4

Loz’s Stand Out Players: Dominic Young (NEW), Bradman Best (NEW), Joey Manu (SYD) and Daniel Tupou (SYD)

By Loz

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