Knights v Sea Eagles: 3 key points
After a fairly one sided contest between the Dragons and the Broncos on Thursday night, NRL fans were treated to the first nail biter of the season.
The new look Newcastle Knights narrowly defeated the Manly Sea Eagles in a golden point thriller courtesy of some of their most recent recruits.
Here are three key points from the round one fixture.
Pearce wastes no time
Having been shunned by his beloved Sydney Roosters for the benefit of Cooper Cronk, Pearce moved to Newcastle looking to make an impact as the dominant playmaker in a young and exciting side. Any sort of fan admiration, one would assume, was merely a bonus. Yet Pearce wasted no time in convincing the Newcastle faithful that he is the man they have been searching for, slotting the winning field goal to give the Knights two competition points and a justifiable sense of hope for the first time in years.
Game of inches
There really wasn’t a whole lot separating the two sides – on another day, in a different city the result may have been quite different. What ultimately decided the game were a couple of untimely errors, firstly by Newcastle to allow Manly back into the contest with a penalty that resulted in a 40 metre shot at goal from DCE. DCE returned the favour by skewing a number of chances at field goals he would ordinarily slot with ease.
Good feeling in Newcastle
A crowd of over 23, 000 turned up on Friday night to Hunter Stadium. It’s no secret that the Knights recruited extremely well for this season and that fact has not escaped the ears of their fans. There’s a long way to go in season 2018, but if the Knights can continue to play with the energy they displayed this evening then a strong competition finish will not be out of the question. It’s been a rough few years for Newcastle fans, but things finally seem to be on the up.