Mata’utia hat-trick sees Knights overcome Warriors

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A fantastic afternoon from Sione Mata’utia helped lead Newcastle to a deserved win over the New Zealand side in an entertaining match at Hunter Stadium on Sunday.

What: NRL round 23
Who: Newcastle Knights v New Zealand Warriors
Result: Newcastle 28-22
When and Where: 2pm, Saturday August 17 – Hunter Stadium
Crowd: 12,733
Match Rating: 9/10

80 minutes in 80 seconds
The Newcastle Knights have put the Warriors’ finals aspirations on hold with a 28-22 win. The Knight’s inconsistency issues were there for all to see in this one as they blew a 14 point lead, allowing the Warriors to level it up 14-14 just into the second half.

However, it was the Mata’utia show as both brothers scored four tries between them. Sione Mata’utia the star with a hat-trick.

Hitting back after the Warriors levelled, a try a piece to each Mata’utia had the Knights leading 26-14 with 13 to go.

As the Knights found the hard way, never count the Warriors out. Their inconsistency striking again, the Knights were given a scare in the back 10 as the Warriors came out firing.

Two quick tries had the Knights on red alert as their lead was reduced to six. It seemed like a miracle was to come true for the Warriors as they continually broke the Knights defence. Joseph Leilua the saviour for the Knights as his intercept defused a Warriors last-ditch effort which was sure to be a try.

With only one conversion from five attempts, expect to see a change in the Warriors kicking duties.

Who Killed it?
Sione Mata’utia was spectacular as he stamps his name as a first-grade regular. Not to detract from the halves however, as both had a hand in most of the tries. Joseph Leilua deserves a mention as the big man was unstoppable, topping it off with two try assists and a four pointer.

Who Stank It Up?
Chad Townsend’s goal kicking was the only poor piece of play in this contest. The young half will be feeling the brunt of the loss with his inability to go over the black dot proving costly.

What The…
What is it with the Warriors and the road? They’ve lost seven of ten at away venues this season and has hurt their place on the ladder.

Look Out Up Ahead
The Warriors host the Roosters on Sunday at Midday while the Knights are on the road against the Broncos, 5.30pm Saturday night.

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