Canterbury break drought in Newcastle

Last-placed Canterbury held off a late charge from Newcastle to win 18-12 and post just their second victory of the season at a rain-swept and sodden McDonald Jones Stadium.

The Bulldogs shot to an 18-point lead with tries to Raymond Faitala-Mariner and Jake Averillo in the opening 10 minutes of the second half before four-pointers to Hymel Hunt and Sione Mata’utia set up a grandstand finish.

Canterbury went into the break leading 6-0 thanks to a display of ball control that belied their No.1 ranking for handling errors.

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The Bulldogs scored first through prop Aiden Tolman after Lachlan Lewis surprised Newcastle with a fourth-tackle kick and could have gone further ahead later in the first half but Averillo failed to ground a grubber in-goal.

The home team suffered two major blows during the opening 40 with first-choice dummy-half Andrew McCullough (hamstring) and his replacement Connor Watson (achilles) going down in quick succession with suspected season-ending leg injuries as the Knights fought hard to get back into the contest.

Mata’utia added to Newcastle’s crowded casualty ward when he hobbled off with a knee injury in the closing stages of the match.


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