NSWRL | Newcastle Knights juniors kick off season with first round wins over St George at Cessnock

They were without star fullback Bradman Best and several other players through injury but Scott Dureau’s Knights Under 18’s side overcame a poor start to kick off their 2018 S.G. Ball premiership campaign with a 28-14 win over St George at Cessnock on Saturday.

And not to be outdone, Rory Kostjasyn’s Under 16’s side cruised to a 40-6 win over the Dragons in their Harold Matthews clash.

Best, who represented  NSW Under 16’s last season, won’t play until round 4 or 5 after undergoing off-season shoulder surgery, and Dureau was without at least six other squad members.

But despite being down 10-0 early and completing at just 40 percent in the first half, the Knights led 16-10 at the break before dominating.

Prop Tom Baker, who missed the Knights’ four trial wins because of a broken toe, was outstanding while centre Timanu Alexander scored a hattrick and was strong along with centre partner Toby Marks.

Bradman Best (centre) with Knights teammates Jaron Purcell and Max Buderus

Bradman Best (centre) with Knights teammates Jaron Purcell and Max Buderus

“We were horrible with the footy in the first half in really hot conditions and it was a pretty ugly win to be honest,”Dureau said.

The Knights 16’s led the Dragon’s 18-0 in their game at halftime and were never threatened with forwards Tom Cant and Sam Robinson the pick of the players.