At Maitland it was three from three for the Newcastle Knights, as the SG Ball side put on an impressive display to defeat the North Sydney Bears 48-6 on Saturday afternoon.
Knights fullback Star Toa proved too tricky for the opposition with a double and numerous offloads, with the home side’s defensive plays a highlight early.
The Knights were on the board early via winger Darcy Heaney with speed on the left side. Jock Madden nailed the conversion to put Newcastle into a 6-0 lead.
The Bears had several chances metres out from the try line, but the defence was too strong by the home side who continued to regain control.
22 minutes in, fullback Star Toa side stepped his way to the line before Madden was again successful with the conversion to push the Knights to a 12-0 lead.
An injury to the Bears saw play stop as he was carted off and after a quick drinks break, the Knights got within 10 of the line following a handy kick off but couldn’t advance.
The Knights almost made it their third but were held up on the line, before they had the legs to sneak in a try as Toa recorded the double just beside the posts.
Madden made it three from three out in front to extend their lead, 18-0 into the break.
It wasn’t long before the Knights got on the board again via Simi Sasagi and Madden continued his precision kicking with another conversion. Newcastle in front 24-0.
Toa broke free from the pack before he offloaded to Madden, who sprinted his way downfield to cross over for the try. He converted his own try to see Newcastle jump to a 30-0 lead.
It was all too common as Toa again broke free and dished the ball off to teammate Sasagi who went over for the double with 17 minutes remaining. Five from five, Madden was on fire with another successful conversion to make it 36-0 to the Knights.
With the Bears continuing to tire, the Knights took advantage as forward Taylor Fiu came up with the goods to get the Knights to a 42-0 lead.
In the final ten minutes, a lucky bounce off the post saw the Bears’ William O’Toole dive over for their first, before a successful conversion from Sam Stratis. The Knights led 42-6.
And seconds before the siren, Sasagi came up with the hat trick to send the Knights to a 48-6 victory over the Bears.
Knights 48 (T: Heaney, Toa 2, Sasagi 3, Madden, Fiu G: Madden 8/8)
Bears 6 (T: O’Toole G: Stratis 1/1)
1.Star Toa, 2.Caleb Nichols, 3.Timanu Alexander, 4.toby Marks, 5.Darcy Heaney, 6.Jock Madden, 7.Phoenix Crossland, 8.Campbell Sheppard, 9.Liam Wilkinson, 10.Kingston Puru, 11.Harry Croker, 12.Cooper Jenkins, 16.Taylor Fiu. Interchange. 13.Jaron Purcell, 14.Simi Sasagi, 15.Thomas Baker, 17.Brock Gardner