UNSTOPPABLE: Aku Uate is congratulated on one of his three tries. Picture: Peter Stoop The Knights’ Chris Houston, James McManus, and Anthony Quinn just after McManus scored a try. Pictures: Max Mason-Hubers and Peter Stoop
杭州夜生活

Pictures: Peter Stoop and Max Mason-Hubers

Pictures: Peter Stoop and Max Mason-Hubers

Pictures: Peter Stoop and Max Mason-Hubers

Pictures: Peter Stoop and Max Mason-Hubers

Pictures: Peter Stoop and Max Mason-Hubers

Pictures: Peter Stoop and Max Mason-Hubers

Pictures: Peter Stoop and Max Mason-Hubers

Pictures: Peter Stoop and Max Mason-Hubers

Pictures: Peter Stoop and Max Mason-Hubers

Pictures: Peter Stoop and Max Mason-Hubers

Pictures: Peter Stoop and Max Mason-Hubers

Pictures: Peter Stoop and Max Mason-Hubers

Pictures: Peter Stoop and Max Mason-Hubers

Pictures: Peter Stoop and Max Mason-Hubers

Pictures: Peter Stoop and Max Mason-Hubers

Pictures: Peter Stoop and Max Mason-Hubers

NEWCASTLE coach Wayne Bennett expects some NRL rivals will be looking over their shoulders after the Knights trounced Wests Tigers 42-10 in a stunning season-opening display at Hunter Stadium on Monday night.

Winning their first home game of the season for the first time since 2009, the Knights scored seven tries to two to outclass the Tigers and displace Parramatta at the top of the table on points difference.

The Knights conceded the first and last tries last night but scored seven in between as they dominated possession and field position for long periods of both halves to keep the Tigers on a tight leash.

Led by Willie Mason and new signings Beau Scott and Jeremy Smith, the Knights pack outmuscled the Tigers up front, allowing playmakers Jarrod Mullen, Kurt Gidley and Darius Boyd to create multiple scoring chances on the edges.

Powerhouse right winger Aku Uate scored three tries and fellow outside backs James McManus and Dane Gagai bagged a brace each.

‘‘There will be some people looking over their shoulders, but we haven’t made a statement,’’ Bennett said.

‘‘I didn’t have any great expectation except that we play well, and we played well, so we got some rewards. Our ball control was really good, and they were on their game which was great.’’

Adam Blair’s converted try in the sixth minute gave the Tigers a 6-0 lead, then Tim Moltzen scored after the final siren but the Knights had clocked off by then. Newcastle recovered from their early lapse to lead 24-6 at half-time and that blew out to 40-6 after McManus scored his second try from Mullen’s cross-field bomb in the 55th minute.

Though he was not getting carried away, Bennett said the players were entitled to enjoy their first-up win before they start preparing for what should be a much tougher test against fellow first-round winners Manly at Brookvale Oval on Sunday night.

‘‘Let’s get ourselves sorted out here, get over our knocks and bumps and first game of the season and we’ll worry about Manly later in the week,’’ he said.

Mullen set up three tries and, after piloting his first kick out on the full, kicked astutely in general play to shade Boyd and Uate for man-of-the-match honours. He suffered a wrist injury trying to fend off Braith Anasta and Aaron Woods in the 64th minute and Bennett replaced him one minute later as a precaution.

‘‘I wanted to keep Tyrone [Roberts] out there for a while,’’ Bennett said.

‘‘It’s a long season in front of us and I was just trying to rotate guys around positions a little bit. The game was won.

‘‘We started to get a little bit scrappy towards the end there but that was OK.

‘‘We did so well for 70minutes, so I’m not going to waste time talking about the last 10.’’

Gidley, who played just five games last season due to a shoulder injury, said the performance was exactly what the Knights wanted to kick off their campaign after they suffered a 15-14 extra-time loss to the Dragons in the corresponding game last year.

‘‘I know how hard everyone works in the off-season, and 12 months ago we worked really hard and there were obviously expectations and it was a huge disappointment when you lose your first game,’’ Gidley said.

‘‘We worked extra hard this off-season and trained really good this week, so it would have been a huge letdown if we disappointed ourselves and our fans.

‘‘It was a good night, and it’s on to next week now.

‘‘We didn’t go away from our game plan. I suppose when you get off to a bad start, you can go a bit crazy and make error after error, but we stayed to our plan so that was good.

‘‘There’s a lot of experience in our pack now, and those guys were leading the way so it’s certainly good to play behind them.’’

The Tigers had endured an emotional build-up dealing with the suicide of promising young prop Mosese Fotuaika two weeks ago but coach Mick Potter made no excuses for their poor performance.

‘‘Those things happen, and how unlikely it is, it’s part of life. Things occur and you get on with it and you try to put it in the back of your head,’’ Potter said.

‘‘But there’s no excuses … I don’t think as a group that we performed to our best.

‘‘It was disappointing. In a lot of areas we could have done better, so the scoreline doesn’t read very well. I thought early, everything was going to plan but we slowly deteriorated and we came up with errors, we came up with some silly penalties and we conceded a lot of possession, and you just can’t do that against teams.

‘‘In saying that, we need to fix up some areas in defence as well. We can’t concede tries like we did.’’

● Defending premiers Wests Tigers scored two tries three minutes apart midway through the second half to overcome the Knights 22-12 in the NYC curtain-raiser.