NRL 2020: Newcastle Knights extend winning start with victory over Wests Tigers

Newcastle remain undefeated through the first two rounds of the NRL after a try-scoring blitz against the Wests Tigers.

In perfect rugby league conditions on Sunday afternoon at Leichhardt Oval, the Knights ran in eight tries, while leaking four to get the 42-24 win.

And while the defensive performance was a far cry from their round-one shutout of the NZ Warriors, the Knights pulled apart the Tigers' line too easily.

Several times in the second half, the Knights exposed the Tigers' right-edge pairing of Joey Leilua and David Nofoaluma, with Kalyn Ponga, Edrick Lee and Enari Tuala scoring out wide.

And while the hosts managed two tries to Josh Reynolds and Luciano Leilua in the second half, the Knights, led by the boot of Mitchell Pearce, remained in control.

Three unanswered four-pointers to Pearce, Tuala and Connor Watson polished off the win.

The Knights started fast with two quick tries to Tuala and Mitch Barnett, both off kicks from star halfback Pearce.

Barnett was awarded a penalty try, when he was dragged off the ball in-goal by Tigers half Reynolds, and the Knights went up 10-0 after 10 minutes.

Five minutes later, the Knights were on the attack again, when Ponga threw a pass to the left edge and it was intercepted by Nofoaluma, who raced 85 metres to score.

The Knights hit back with another try for Kurt Mann midway through the first half to extend their lead.

But a slick offload from Reynolds on the Knights line put Corey Thompson over to score, narrowing the difference to six at the break.

The game opened up in the second half, as both teams traded tries, to the delight of a handful of vocal Tigers fans who had gathered over the fence.

The Tigers copped a further blow in the second half, when replacement forward Thomas Mikaele suffered a suspected medial injury, while the Knights also lost Barnett to a shoulder injury, although it was not believed to be serious.

Luciano Leilua might also face heat from the match review committee for a late shot on Ponga in the dying minutes of the game.

The Tigers are scheduled to face Canterbury next week at Campbelltown, while the Knights are due to play Cronulla at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium.


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