Second half surge not enough to get Bulldogs over finish line

Dylan Napa tries to step around the Newcastle defence.Photo: NRL photos.

A LATE surge from Canterbury was not enough to reverse their 22-10 loss against the Newcastle Knights at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

The Knights almost surrendered a 16-point half-time lead, however their defence, compounded by some Canterbury handling errors, ensured Newcastle would withstand the Bulldogs’ second half onslaught.
The Knights looked in cruise control at 16-0 in the second half until a Reimis Smith intercept turned the match on its head.
However, despite numerous attacking raids at the Knights tryline, the Bulldogs couldn’t come up with the play to at least take the match into golden point.
Then the magic footwork of Kalyn Ponga, beating a tired Kieran Foran on his return from injury with his trademark step, put the result beyond doubt.
The match also doubled as David Klemmer’s first match against the Bulldogs since walking out on the club last year.
The Knights prop left a sour taste in the mouths of Canterbury fans after deciding to link with the Knights despite being contracted to the club.
Klemmer was well contained by his old club, who no doubt placed emphasis on shutting down the Knights’ metre eater.
The Knights dominated the first half to go into the sheds with a 16-0 lead.
The Knights looked like they would be the first to score in the second half, however Smith plucked out a cut-out pass from Pearce to run 95 metres and score Canterbury’s first try of the game.
It triggered a change of ascendancy, with the Bulldogs going on the attack as they looked to chase down a 12-point buffer but it was not to be.
Coach Dean Pay, though, is still confident his young side can come up with the goods.
“It was similar to last week; we fought hard in the second half for a chance but just didn’t get there in the end,” he said.
“The effort was there and once Kieran gets back to where he was before he got hurt because he was such a big part of the team, it’s going to get better.
“But that’s where it sits at the moment.”