NRL: Newcastle Knights repeat mistakes in loss to Brisbane Broncos | photos

Same error, same result.

For the second week in a row the Newcastle Knights were left to rue a poor last-play kick option that led to a runaway opposition try and ultimately a loss.  

They may have occurred at different times of the game and on different sides of the field, but the momentum swings from each mistake were equally as disastrous.

Last round it was Brock Lamb into Moses Mbye during the later stages of a 20-18 loss to the Canterbury Bulldogs at Belmore and on Saturday it was Joe Wardle shortly after half-time handing over possession to Brisbane Broncos flyer James Roberts in a 34-22 defeat at McDonald Jones Stadium.

The Knights had again led at the break, up 12-6 on this occasion, but the 70 metre effort from Roberts off a charge-down ricochet not only helped level proceedings but was the first of three converted tries for Brisbane in the space of nine minutes.

And although the Knights eventually mounted another brave comeback, getting within two points with 17 minutes remaining, handing the ball over to “Jimmy the Jet” was a game changer according to Newcastle coach Nathan Brown.

“The thing that was most disappointing with the play after half-time today – it was opposite side of the field but similar to last week in the way there were many numbers of things we could have done. We did the worst one,” Brown said. 

“Last week we kicked into Moses Mbye, who was Canterbury’s fastest player on the field, and this week we found Jimmy the Jet.

“Hodko [halfback Trent Hodkinson] could have kicked it, Joe could have passed it, Joe could have got tackled, the worst play was to kick it into Jimmy the Jet and we found that way.

“Did that play a part in the result? Yeah, it played a huge part in the result. But what happened after it next, before we become a good team we’ve got to get that right anyway.  

“We’ve got to understand that when something really horrible goes against us like that, we’ve got to learn to turn the game with our defence and really fight hard and come together and stop things.”

Broncos coach Wayne Bennett, who was at the Knights between 2012 and 2014, said the struggling club should stick with Brown during this rebuilding phase.

Bennett also confirmed on Saturday that Broncos centre Tautau Moga, who scored a try in an outstanding performance, would move to the Knights next season meaning he joins injured Brisbane prop Herman Ese’ese at Newcastle in 2018.  

The Broncos now jump inside the top four on the competition ladder while two-time defending wooden spooners Newcastle remain in last position. 

The Knights have lost seven consecutive matches with their last win recorded against Canberra at home on May 14.

Newcastle have led 10 matches at half-time this season but only gone onto win once.

The main injury concern for the Knights is Peter Mata’utia, who will undergo concussion testing this week to prove his fitness for Friday’s clash with the Roosters in Sydney.

The centre was replaced in the 4th minute and didn’t return after failing a HIA meaning Newcastle played most of the round 19 fixture with only 16 men.

Brisbane Broncos 34 (Kahu, Roberts, Moga, Milford, Sims, Pearson tries; Kahu 5 goals) defeated Newcastle Knights 22 (S Mata'utia, C Mata'utia, Levi, Gagai tries; Hodkinson 3 goals) at McDonald Jones Stadium. Crowd: 13,773. Half-time: Knights 12-6.


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