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19 Jan 2018 16:26
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  •   Home > News > Sports > Rugby League

    Saifitis' sweet day as Knights win in NRL

    Daniel Saifiti watched his brother Jacob be taken from the field on a stretcher before he helped Newcastle to a 34-20 NRL win over Canberra.

    - article from www.rugbyleague.co.nz

    A nod from twin brother Jacob as he was being taken from the field on a stretcher spurred Daniel Saifiti to a devastating display in Newcastle's shock 34-20 NRL win over Canberra on Sunday.

    Jacob was later cleared of a serious neck injury from an innocuous bump, but Daniel carried his load as he ran for 191 metres to help the Knights snap a seven-game losing streak and record just their second win in 28 matches.

    "I was worried for him but he just said 'I'm sweet'," Daniel said.

    "After that, I cleared my head and got the nod. I just went on with my performance and it helped me kick on."

    Saifiti was one of numerous stars for the Knights.

    Second-rower Sione Mata'utia claimed two tries, including a vital one in the 60th minute when he chased through on a Brock Lamb grubber.

    It was one of two try assists for Lamb, who combined well with halfback Jaelen Feeney, and he scored one of his own to ice the match in the 78th minute.

    But the hero was undoubtedly Saifiti in trying circumstances.

    "He was sensational," Newcastle coach Nathan Brown said.

    "He was outstanding today against Test front-rowers and quality players.

    "What he did today was that of a person that's got a big future ahead of him if he gets everything right."

    The news got better for Daniel after the match, with the Knights confirming Jacob had been discharged from John Hunter Hospital.

    The 21-year-old was taken from the McDonald Jones Stadium field on a medi-cab, and was assessed by the trainer for five minutes after his head was jolted when it was accidentally bumped, as he rolled out the back of a standard tackle.

    "He had some pins and needles down the side of his neck and arm," Brown said.

    His condition will now be monitored during the week by the Knights.

    Prop Josh Starling suffered a potential broken hand, while Lachlan Fitzgibbon could spend time on the sidelines with a knee injury.

    But there was to be no spoiling the Knights' victory.

    After they led 10-8 at halftime, they fell behind early in the second half when Canberra's Elliott Whitehead busted over.

    But the hosts responded with three tries in 10 minutes with four-pointers to Joe Wardle, Sione Mata'utia and his brother Peter.

    It marked Newcastle's biggest win since August 2015, but continued a trend of troubling the Raiders after they twice took them to golden point last year.

    While the Knights were handling error-free in the second half, Canberra struggled to make the most of their opportunities.

    They completed at less than 50 per cent in the second period, and only had a late faint hope when winger Nick Cotric completed his double in the 75th minute, before the Knights crossed again.


    NZN




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