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Roosters Fall to Knights in Newcastle

The Sydney Roosters were unable to overcome the Newcastle Knights in Round 8 of the NRLW competition, falling 20-4 in a Saturday afternoon arm-wrestle at McDonald Jones Stadium. 

Corban Baxter claimed the Roosters only try after receiving a brilliant offload from Olivia Kernick, but the Tricolours failed to nullify Knights fullback Tamika Upton, who carried the hosts to victory with a double. 

The Roosters rallied in defence early to keep the Knights behind their 40-metre line  for their opening two sets. 

Applying the pressure in attack from strong field position, the Tricolours looked to strike first with a right edge play, but an off-target pass handed possession back to the hosts.

Hooker Keeley Davis produced a brilliant try-saving tackle on Newcastle prop Caitlan Johnston to force an error on her run to the try-line as the hosts attempted to execute a crash play under the posts. 

Another inspiring individual effort from Olivia Kernick saw the back-rower drive Knights winger Jasmin Strange towards her own goal-line with a hard-hitting tackle only a couple of minutes later. 

The Tricolours conceded a penalty for a shoulder charge on Jesse Southwell, affording the hosts more possession within close range.

Keilee Joseph denied the Knights on back-to-back occasions with impressive one-on-one tackles but the period of sustained pressure was too much for the Tricolours.

Slick work with the ball by Tamika Upton resulted in first points for the Knights, as the clever fullback produced a chip and chase to split the Roosters defence before regathering possession and crashing down in-goal. Jesse Southwell was unable to convert the try, leaving the score a 4-0. 

An error from Southwell followed by an illegal strip attempt by Tayla Predebon laid the platform for the Roosters to hit back before the break. 

Jocelyn Kelleher delivered Kernick a bullet pass before the Jillaroos representative found Corban Baxter with a brilliant offload. As strong as ever, the vice-captain wrestled the ball down in the in-goal to level the scores, but Kelleher's conversion waved away on the siren. 

Baxter Gets The Roosters On The Board

The Roosters came out of the sheds firing, with Teuila Fotu-Moala making a couple of bone-rattling tackles to momentarily halt the Knights. 

Fotu-Moala Bringing The Hits

Upton provided the spark once again for the hosts, sending Yasmin Clydsdale through the line with a short-ball before sprinting in support of her second rower to collect an offload and cross for a double. 

The Knights fullback produced another scorching run six minutes later before Isabelle Kelly wrapped her up on the 40-metre line. Sending the ball left on the ensuing play, Newcastle sent Strange over on an overlap to make the difference 10. 

A phenomenal catch by Davis got the Roosters out of more trouble as the visitors continued to search for a response. 

The Roosters eventually found their way over after Kernick delivered another remarkable offload for Kelleher who leapt over the stripe, but the Video Referee overruled the on-field decision, determining the second rower knocked the ball on. 

Eight minutes before full-time Southwell blitzed through the Roosters defence to cross under the posts before converting her own try to cement the final score as 20-4 and all but secure the Minor Premiership for her team.

Sydney Roosters 4 (Corban Baxter try) def by Newcastle Knights 20. 

Acknowledgement of Country

Sydney Roosters respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.