Saifiti marks milestone with five-star performance
March 12, 2021 9:03 pm
Fiji Bati forward Daniel Saifiti celebrated his 100th NRL game with two tries as Knights beat the Bulldogs 32-16.
The Knights launched their 2021 campaign in style as runaway train Saifiti made 174 metres from 19 runs and crossed the stripe once in each half as Newcastle turned an eight-point half-time lead into a comprehensive win.
It was the Bulldogs who struck first after just four minutes when new halfback Kyle Flanagan put winger Dallin Watene-Zelezniak over in the corner with a superb cut-out pass.
— NRL (@NRL) March 12, 2021
Saifiti scored his first try for the Knights five minutes later after Mitchell Pearce pass which stretched their lead to 8-4 when Mitch Barnett piloted a penalty goal through the sticks.
Back-rower Adam Elliott put the Bulldogs back in front when he scored in the 28th minute but a try to Starford To’a saw the home side regain the ascendancy.
A try to Barnett on the stroke of half-time courtesy of a Connor Watson pass made it 18-10 to the Knights and they looked to be taking control.
Saifiti crossed in the 48th minute to notch the first double of his career and Bradman Best pushed the lead out to 30-10 when he scored in the 55th minute.
Watene-Zelezniak grabbed a consolation try in the closing minutes for a 32-16 final scoreline.
Injuries to Kurt Mann (knee) and Best (ankle) took some of the gloss off the Knights’ win but there were plenty of positives in the form of David Klemmer, Tyson Frizell and Saifiti, who won’t forget his milestone game in a hurry.