You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Frawley leads Dogs to NRL win over Knights

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 7/04/2017 Steve Zemek

Matt Frawley has delivered Canterbury coach Des Hasler a selection headache by leading them to a 22-12 NRL win over Newcastle on Friday night.

The Bulldogs were hardly impressive in front of 16,929 at McDonald Jones Stadium, limping out of the blocks before back-up half Frawley, playing just his second first-grade game, sparked them to life.

The Knights took a shock 6-4 halftime lead, however, the set after the resumption, Frawley blew the game open when he split the defence to score a 40m solo try and give his side the lead for the first time.

Frawley was injected in to the game in the 25th minute when Brad Abbey came off for a concussion test, pushing regular No.7 Moses Mbye to the centres.

Frawley looked, by far and away, his side's most dependable playmaker, easily out-pointing Mbye and Josh Reynolds, and Hasler will be under pressure to include him somewhere for the rest of the season.

Mbye did have a bright moment when he went on a scything run down the left and Marcelo Montoya scored in the right corner a few plays later.

But Frawley was the star, throwing a looping cut-out pass for Josh Morris to score in the corner to make it 18-6 in the 67th.

Dane Gagai was Newcastle's best - he was denied once by the bunker before standing up Brett Morris for a powerful four-pointer to get his side back within six with 11 minutes to play.

He also finished with two linebreaks, ran for 194m and busted seven tackles.

The Knights thought they had levelled the scores when Sione Mata'utia grounded a Brock Lamb grubber, however, the two-time wooden spooners were once again denied by the video referee.

Earlier Nathan Ross was denied the first points of the game when he botched a Trent Hodkinson grubber but made no mistake 15 minutes later.

Nathan Brown's side were just seconds away from keeping their opposition scoreless in the first half for the first time since round 10 of 2014, only for Brenko Lee to cross on the siren.

After their 19-18 loss to Cronulla a week earlier, it was the second time in as many rounds the Knights had pushed a fancied rival all the way.

They had their chances late in the game but their inexperience came to the fore as Montoya crossed for his second in the dying moments to seal the win for the Bulldogs.

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon