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The Knights survived a late scare from the Dolphins on Sunday afternoon to leave Suncorp Stadium with a 18-14 victory which halts their two-game winless run. 

Up 18-6 with three minutes to play, the Knights leaked twice down their left edge to allow the Dolphins back into the game, with only Jamayne Isaako's missed conversions preventing Newcastle from having to go to golden point. 

It was a poor end to what had been an otherwise strong showing from Adam O'Brien's side, headed up by a near flawless opening 40 minutes in which they completed all 22 of their sets.

But despite owning most of the possession and the scoring chances, Newcastle led by just four at the break after struggling to convert it into points. 

Dane Gagai Try

Rookie fullback David Armstrong had got things going with a try on debut just nine minutes in, before Dane Gagai scored and converted his own effort for a 10-0 lead.  

Having not even been tackled inside the opposition 20 for a long period of the opening stanza, the Dolphins then got a try back through former Newcastle player Oryn Keeley.

Oryn Keeley Try

Tyson Gamble's strike early in the second half gave the Knights some breathing room, before the Dolphins had a try-of-the-season contender ruled out - after Trai Fuller was ruled to have passed off the ground on the final offload - and then blew one minutes later when they overlooked wide open players twice on a break. 

A Gagai penalty with 13 to play made it a two-score lead, before Isaako and Jake Averillo each scored within the space of a minute to set up a nail-biting finish. 

Both sides finished with a long list of injury concerns, with the home side losing both Jesse and Kenny Bromwich and the Knights having Jed Carwright and Jacob Saifiti break down. 

Match Snapshot 

  • Newcastle completed all 22 of their sets in the first half and finished with a 88 percent completion rate at full-time. 
  • The Dolphins made seven line breaks to Newcastle's four. 
  • The Dolphins had both Bromwich brothers fail to finish the match, with Kenny failing a HIA in the first half and Jesse succumbing to a calf injury in the second period. 
  • Jed Cartwright (ankle) and Jacob Saifiti, who was playing his 150th NRL game, also failed to finish the match. 
  • Dolphins right winger Jamayne Isaako has now scored six tries in three games against the Knights. 

Play of the Game

Who doesn't love a try on debut? The smile on David Armstrong's face said it all as he popped up to cross nine minutes into his first outing at NRL level. It was part of an impressive showing from the 23-year-old that should ensure he keeps the No.1 jersey for the foreseeable future. 

David Armstrong Try

What They Said

"We just needed to come here and find a way to win, whether it was ugly, pretty, whatever. We spoke a lot about the DNA of our town, our club, we want that to be tough and gritty and we thought we had fallen out of love with that part of the game a little bit. I thought today was a step back in the right direction." – Knights coach Adam O'Brien. 

Knights: Round 8

"We played pretty flat all day, for whatever reason. To their credit they stayed at it, they didn't give up, but Newcastle looked pretty fresh and full of running and we were kind of struggling to get to what we wanted to get to." – Dolphins coach Wayne Bennett. 

Dolphins: Round 8

What's Next

A trip to face the Cowboys, who thumped them 43-18 back in Round 1, in Townsville awaits the Dolphins. They'll be a chance of getting some more talent back from the injured list ahead of Round 9 too. The Knights meanwhile are back at home to play the Warriors for the second time in five weeks. 

Acknowledgement of Country

The Dolphins respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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