Fiji Bati winger Mikaele Ravalawa and prop Jacob Saifiti grabbed a try each in the final round of the NRL as Newcastle Knights 32-12 defeated the Saint George Illawarra Dragons at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium in Sydney on Saturday.
Knights opened the scoring in just the second-minute courtesy of a slick right-side shift featuring Adam Clune and Adam Elliott which was finished off by Saifiti which Lachlan Miller converted for a 6-0 lead.
The Dragons’ responded with a try to Ben Hunt which Zac Lomax converted but their joy was cut short when Knights kept its strong gameplay and managed to nail three consecutive tries to Enari Tuala, Greg Marzhew, Fa’amanu Brown while Miller converted twice for a 16-6 lead at half time.
The Dragons reduced the deficit in the 66th minute when Ravalawa scored a try in the corner before a chaotic five minutes played out with Miller and Dragons forward Blake Lawrie both sin-binned for professional fouls.
The Knights were awarded a penalty which Tyson Gamble landed before Dominic Young scored a brace to seal the win and book its spot in the qualifying round.