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Knights beat Eels in NRL
Steve Jancetic
22:32 AEST Sat Jun 30 2012

Newcastle's mid-season revival stretched to back-to-back NRL wins after disposing of a lacklustre Parramatta 20-12 on Saturday night.

Backing up from Monday night's upset win over Wests Tigers, the Knights scored three tries early in the second half to put the Eels away - their run without consecutive wins stretching to just less than two years.

Having been appointed as the Eels' new director of coaching just days ago, Chris Anderson had an early glimpse of just how much work he had before him as he sat alongside under-pressure coach Stephen Kearney - Parramatta returning to their bad old ways after last week's comeback win over Penrith.

Halfback Chris Sandow showed signs of life in the first half as he set up a Matt Keating try with a clever run in which he beat four defenders, while he was denied a 40-20 only by an athletic save from rookie fullback Kevin Naiqama.

Having gone to the break locked up at 6-6 following James McManus' fifth-minute try, the Knights blew the Eels away with three tries in the space of 17 minutes after the restart.

First, Jarrod Mullen matched the deeds of Sandow when he beat four in a strong run to score beside the posts before Naiqama raced 90 metres to score against the run of play on 51 minutes to break Parramatta's back.

Akuila Uate completed the run when he scored off the back of a Dane Gagai flick pass, but the dumped NSW winger almost had a repeat of his Origin II nightmare when he allowed a bomb to bounce near his home line which Mullen was forced to clean up.

Parramatta gave their fans some hope of yet another late comeback when Ken Sio scored to reduce the gap to eight points with eight minutes remaining, but they failed to convert half chances over the closing stages.

The Knights could be without prop Kade Snowden for a few weeks after he suffered a suspected medial ligament strain, but coach Wayne Bennett admitted confidence around the club was lifting.

"Success gives you that," Bennett said.

"We're doing things that the good teams do. We're starting to do it two weeks in a row now.

"We wouldn't have won that game a month ago - we would have lost it just after halftime there when the pressure was really on.

"We'd won the odd game this year but we hadn't been able to back it up."

For Kearney, it was a case of one step forward two steps back following last week's heroics.

"We were maybe a step off with the execution of our attack," he said.

"I thought we created enough opportunities, but we couldn't take that final pass, couldn't take that final step.

"It was a bit frustrating in that sense."


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