The Newcastle Maitland Region Knights have one last opportunity to make a mark on the men’s Country Championships.
After suffering a shock 34-12 loss to the Greater Northern Tigers in the opening round at Cessnock last weekend, the Lyndon Sheppard-coached squad must not only beat the Northern Rivers Titans on Saturday 6 March but do so by a huge winning margin.
If they can achieve that, and other results go their way, the Knights might just survive another week in the competition.
A slow start against the Tigers certainly harmed Newcastle Maitland’s chances, with Greater Northern piling on 22 unanswered points in the first half.
However, to the Knights’ credit, they fought back in the second period, thanks to tries to Dylan Parlane and Boston Smith.
But, it was not enough to claim a much-needed victory.
Meanwhile, their next opponents, the Titans, displayed plenty of heart against the Central Coast Roosters, dropping the fixture 23-14.
The local men will wrap up their preparations for the all-important encounter, to be played at Raymond Terrace’s Lakeside Sporting Complex, with another training run at Dudley Oval on Friday evening.
Newcastle Maitland Region Knights (squad): Ethan Fowles, Kyle Shepherdson, Brandon Doran, Brendan Hay, Dylan Parlane, Boston Smith, Matt Simon, Kane Evans, Kyle Jones, Jack Jordan, Jono Alchin, Tony Toleafoa, Carlin Pettit, Kendyll Fahey, Ross Haidle, Tupou Toleafoa, Matt Hay, Nathan Taylor, Joel Newman
Other men’s division results:
Central Coast Roosters d Northern Rivers Titans 23-14
Riverina Bulls d Macarthur Wests Tigers 30-26
Monaro Colts d Western Rams 18-14
GREATER NORTHERN TIGERS v NEWCASTLE MAITLAND REGION KNIGHTS SCOREBOARD
Cessnock Sportsground – Saturday 27 February
ANDREW JOHNS CUP
NEWCASTLE MAITLAND KNIGHTS 26 (George Beagen, Lauma Vaai, Harper Collins, Jacob Marshall, Chase Morris tries; Tyrese Gordon 3 goals) d GREATER NORTHERN TIGERS 16 (Drewe Gilbert 2, Talon Harrington, Callum Dowell tries)
LAURIE DALEY CUP
GREATER NORTHERN TIGERS 20 (Pichai Dixon, Harry Reid, Luke Smith, Corben Hampstead tries; Mitch Henderson 2 goals) d NEWCASTLE MAITLAND KNIGHTS 18 (Tyrese Edwards, Joshua Andrews, Harry Hore tries; Liam Browne 3 goals)
MEN’S COUNTRY CHAMPIONSHIPS
GREATER NORTHERN TIGERS 34 (Reece Jaeger 2, Daniel Hoogerwerf, Brett Jarrett, Brady Benkovic, Scott Blanch tries; Scott Briggs 5goals) d NEWCASTLE MAITLAND KNIGHTS 12 (Dylan Parlane, Boston Smith tries; Kendyll Fahey 2 goals)
WOMEN’S COUNTRY CHAMPIONSHIPS
NEWCASTLE MAITLAND KNIGHTS 26 (Taylah Gray 2, Nicole Stanfield, Robyn Draper, Rhianna Cipta tries; Ashlee Harvey 3 goals) d GREATER NORTHERN TIGERS 0