Pearce and Ponga star as Knights thump dismal Dragons

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St George Illawarra Dragons v Newcastle Knights

The Newcastle Knights have re-entered the top eight for the first time since Round 1 after dismantling the Dragons 45-12 at Glen Willow Oval.

While he is most probably out of Origin contention, Pearce was exceptional, finishing the game with a try, three try-assists and three line-break assists on top of a polished kicking game.

Newcastle made light work of their opponents in the first half, running in four tries.

The first came in the fourth minute when a well-weighted grubber from Mitchell Pearce sat up for Tim Glasby.

Pearce continues to prove his doubters wrong, steering Newcastle to their fourth-straight win with four tries and six try-assists in the past month.

Back in his preferred position, Kalyn Ponga has been just as impressive and had 20 points racked up in the first forty minutes on Sunday.

On top of four conversions and two penalty goals, the 21-year old also scored two tries, his pace and flashy footwork on full display in both.

The final try of the half came off a short ball from Pearce which saw Kurt Mann slice through a gaping hole. It left the halftime score at 28-0.

Pearce then bagged his third try-assist of the game as he lofted the ball over the top for Shaun Kenny-Dowall to sneak over in the corner shortly after play resumed.

And he was rewarded with a try of his own shortly after he chased and grounded an Edrick Lee kick.

The Dragons eventually cracked Newcastle when Tariq Sims crashed over off a Ben Hunt short ball, albeit against 12 men with Mann sin-binned minutes earlier.

Luciano Leilua then broke a string of tackles before offloading for Hunt who set Zac Lomax up in the corner to reduce the deficit to 26.

When Mann returned Newcastle quickly found the line once more as Mitchell Barnett popped a late offload for Connor Watson.

And then Pearce iced the victory with a soaring field goal.

Next week Newcastle roll on to face the Roosters while the Dragons host Cronulla.

St George Illawarra Dragons 12 - Newcastle Knights 45

Venue: Glen Willow Regional Sports Stadium
Crowd: 9267
Halftime Score: St George Illawarra Dragons 0 Newcastle Knights 28

LeagueUnlimited.com Players of the Match:
3 points - Mitchell Pearce
2 points - Kalyn Ponga
1 points - Danny Levi

ST GEORGE ILLAWARRA DRAGONS (12)
Tries: Tariq Sims, Zac Lomax
Field Goals:
Conversions: Jai Field (2/2)
Penalty Goals:

NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS (45)
Tries: Tim Glasby, Kalyn Ponga (2), Kurt Mann, Shaun Kenny-Dowall, Mitchell Pearce, Connor Watson
Field Goals: Mitchell Pearce (1/1)
Conversions: Kalyn Ponga (6/7)
Penalty Goals: Kalyn Ponga (2/2)


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