Written by Oliver Kellner-Dunk
For the past two weeks, the Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs have sat firmly on the bottom of the 2022 NRL ladder as they had failed to win a game since their narrow victory over the North Queensland Cowboys in round one.
However, Trent Barrett’s side finally achieved the sweet taste of success once again after they beat the Sydney Roosters in a grandstand finish last Saturday night.
The gutsy performance from the Bulldogs paired with the calibre of opponent they beat sees them get rid of the wooden spoon favourites tag for this week despite still being in last place on the ladder, as that dishonourable title now goes to the Newcastle Knights.
After winning their first two games of the year in dominant fashion you’d forgive Newcastle fans for jumping the gun and buying their Grand Final tickets way too early because since their strong start to the year not only have the Knights been out of form they have failed to win a single game.
Sunday afternoon’s loss to the Melbourne Storm saw the Knights hit a new season-low as they could only muster up a penalty goal on the stroke of halftime against last year’s minor premiers who would demolish Newcastle 50-2.
This is the second week in a row the Knights have been beaten easily and the second week in a row where they have failed to score a try.
When looking at the stats it would’ve been a great feat if Newcastle hadn’t lost by nearly 50 points as they completed their sets at a measly 55% throughout the game, conceded seven penalties to Melbourne’s three and made 13 errors.
It was also a former Knight who put in an amazing performance against his old club as Josh King ran for a game-high 212 metres and 22 tackles.
The next three weeks will be a true litmus year for the Knights as their toughest task comes this Saturday night against the Cowboys in North Queensland, followed by a magic round opener against the Bulldogs and finally, a clash with an in-form Brisbane Broncos side who have won their last two games.