Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles suffered a 32-12 loss to the Newcastle Knights in round 18 of the NSW Cup at 4 Pines Park today.
In the first match of a triple header, Blacktown Workers fought gallantly in the first half to lead 12-10 at half-time before the Knights came home strongly to take the two competition points.
Blacktown Workers were boosted by the inclusion of Sea Eagles NRL prop Taniela Paseka after being left out of the first grade team for the Knights match.
The Knights opened the scoring in the third minute when winger Mackenzie Baker scored off a spilt crossfield kick on the last tackle from half-back Phoenix Crossland. Full-back Tex Hoy converted for a 6-0 lead after three minutes.
Blacktown Workers full-back Jake Toby then pulled off a trysaving tackle two minutes later after a break up the middle from Knights prop Ben Talty.
Newcastle went to a 10-0 lead after nine minutes when centre Heath Gibbs used his strength to crash through two defenders to score in the corner. Hoy failed to convert the try.
Blacktown Workers got on the board when centre Pio Seci stepped past a defender to find open space to score an easy try next to the posts in the 14th minute. Half-back Ben Stevanovic converted the try for a 10-6 scoreline.
A knock on from winger Ray Vaega stopped a certain Knights try in the 30th minute after continual pressure from the visitors.
Newcastle then bombed a certain try when Nicholas O’Meley placed his foot on the sideline before diving over with six minutes left before half-time.
The Knights were made to pay a few minutes later when Blacktown Workers hooker James Segeyaro darted over from dummy half to score next to the posts. Stevanovic converted for a 12-10 scoreline after 38 minutes.
The visitors had another chance to score seven minutes into the second half through winger Hymel Hunt but some good defensive pressure from opposite winger Alfred Smalley saw him lose possession just metres short of the line.
Newcastle took a 14-12 lead 13 minutes into the second half after second-rower Jack Johns spun his way over on the last tackle to score out wide after some desperate play. Hoy failed to convert the try.
A minute later, Talty crashed through some flimsy defence to score next to the posts. Hoy converted for a 20-12 lead.
Gibbs got his second try when he raced 60 metres to score untouched from an intercept pass. Hoy converted for a 26-12 lead with 15 minutes remaining.
The visitors went further ahead when forward John Toleafoa used his strength to get past two defenders to score next to the posts. Hoy converted for a 32-12 lead with 10 minutes remaining.
The loss leaves Blacktown Workers on the bottom of the ladder, five points behind Western Suburbs Magpies, with five games and a bye remaining. The Knights remain in ninth place.