Newcastle have made it three on the trot for the first time in two years, holding off a late-surging Canterbury side to record a 22-10 victory at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

The Knights almost surrendered a 16-point half-time lead, however their defence, compounded by some Canterbury handling errors, ensured Newcastle would withstand the Bulldogs second half onslaught.

A month ago the Knights were staring down the barrel of another long season. They were spoken about as wooden spoon contenders, and their coach was reportedly on the brink of having his contract torn up.

But three consecutive victories have catapulted the Knights to the fringe of the top eight, leaving Canterbury in equal last position with two wins alongside the Panthers, Titans and Warriors (game to spare).

The Knights looked in cruise control at 16-0 in the second half until a Reimis Smith intercept turned the match on its head.

However, despite numerous attacking raids at the Knighs tryline, the Bulldogs couldn't come up with the play to at least take the match into golden point.

Then the magic footwork of Kalyn Ponga, beating a tired Kieran Foran on his return from injury with his trademark step, put the result beyond doubt.

Ponga was relatively quiet for the majority of the game, however he stepped up when needed despite controversy around a potential knock on from Mitchell Pearce in the lead up to the try.

Match: Bulldogs v Knights

Round 9 -

Full Time
Bulldogs

Home Team

Bulldogs

Scored 10 points
Knights

Away Team

Knights

Scored 22 points

Venue: Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane

Match broadcasters:

  • Foxtel
  • LIVE PASS
  • KAYO

The match also doubled as David Klemmer's first match against the Bulldogs since walking out on the club last year.

The Knights prop left a sour taste in the mouths of Canterbury fans after deciding to link with the Knights despite being contracted to the club.

Klemmer was well contained by his old club, who no doubt placed emphasis on shutting down the Knights metre eater.

The vision of Ponga helped produce first points of the match, with the Knights fullback putting Hymel Hunt through a gaping hole off a scrum to give Newcaslte an early 6-0 lead.

Pearce helped double his side's lead when he chased down the deflection off his own grubber to beat Nick Meaney to the ball and register his third try in as many weeks.

The Knights dominated the first half and deservedly crossed on the stroke of half time through Lachlan Fitzgibbon in his 50th NRL game, sending Newcastle into the sheds with a 16-0 lead.

The Knights looked like they would be the first to score in the second half, however Smith plucked out a cut-out pass from Pearce to run 95 metres and score Canterbury's first try of the game.

It triggered a change of ascendancy, with the Bulldogs going on the attack as they looked to chase down a 12-point buffer.

Repeated sets helped the Bulldogs build pressure, allowing skipper Josh Jackson to show off his skill with a classy catch-and-pass to put Will Hopoate over in the corner.

A sideline conversion from Nick Meaney, who was also playing his first game against his old club, made it a six-point game with a quarter of the match remaining.

But Ponga then injected himself into the contest on the stroke of full-time to seal the win for his side.