As it happened: Warriors fall to fifth straight loss after being outplayed by last-placed Knights in Newcastle

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Relive 1 NEWS NOW's live updates of this afternoon's NRL round 22 match between the Newcastle Knights and New Zealand Warriors at McDonald Jones Stadium in Newcastle.

FT: NEW 26-10 WAR

Newcastle crowd roars as for the first time since August 2015, the Knights secure back-to-back wins. It's also just the fourth win of the season for the Knights. For the Warriors though, another painful afternoon with a lack of direction on attack. One stand out for the Warriors was Roache's injection in the second half. A brilliant 40min from the interchange hooker. It's just more head scratching for Warriors and their fans alike as another season full of hope effectively ends with their fifth straight loss this afternoon. That'll do it for us today.

78min: NEW 26-10 WAR

NEW DROPOUT! Roache tries one last miracle play for the Warriors as he runs down the right wing and grubbers the ball to the in-goal for his skipper. But the Knights swat it dead and happily take their time setting up a dropout.

75min: NEW 26-10 WAR

Knights just working down the clock now as they hit up for five tackles and kick for territory and the sideline on the last. Warriors just can't find any holes now that the home side is playing with their tails up.

72min: NEW 26-10 WAR

NEW TRY! That will end the hopes of a comeback and with it the hopes of playoff footy for the Warriors. Lamb goes in under the posts as the Knights break the line from 30m with a clean linebreak off an offload. The faithful Newcastle crowd is roaring as Hodkinson knocks over the extra two. 

69min: NEW 20-10 WAR

Warriors rumble into the Knights' half but Lino's high ball goes off the side of the boot for little gain. Knights respond with a 60m set but a horrid kick of their own goes too deep and it's the Warriors restarting with the ball on their 20m. 10 minutes, 10 points. Is it possible?

66min: NEW 20-10 WAR

WAR TRY! Roache is rewarded for a sublime second half with his first ever NRL try! It's scrappy as ever but it's six points the Warriors needed regardless. They go right to off the ruck and Afoa hits the line but bobbles the ball backwards in the contact. RTS tries to make a play on it but he's swamped but Knights so he swats it to Ayshford. Ayshford draws in the Knights defence before flicking to Roache who strolls in untouched. 

63min: NEW 20-4 WAR

Warriors with a big chance to score and the Knights are lucky to not be down to 12 here. Roache with a brilliant run on the last tackle for the right corner goes for the offload and finds Lino. Lino scoops it up and tries to run it in himself but one of Roache's tacklers trips him up deliberately. Warriors with a new set 10m from the line.

60min: NEW 20-4 WAR

NEW TRY! Fitzgibbon strolls in untouched from 20m out after a clean offload from Lamb. Knights go to their right and the young No.6 suprises the Warriors defence by deciding to take the line on. He runs into to and pops the ball up to his right and Fitzgibbon is there. Big score for the Knights in what has been a tussling second half of footy. Just more headaches for the Warriors.

57min: NEW 16-4 WAR

Warriors stop the Knights short but immediately give the ball back and this time it's Luke with an incorrect play the ball. Knights scrum on the Warriors' 40m.

56min: NEW 16-4 WAR

Warriors earn a penalty and get a new set just 30m out but Mannering tries a short ball to Afoa early in the set and he loses it cold! Possibly looking at the oncoming defence instead of the ball there. Matter get worse as the Warriors then give away a penalty as well.

54min: NEW 16-4 WAR

Fusitua has been removed from the field after a headknock leaves him dazed. He's got a bloody lip to show for it too.

53min: NEW 16-4 WAR

WAR NO TRY! Warriors set the ruck mid field. They go right to RTS, he tries a skip pass to Fusitua on the wing but the pass is forward! Fusitua was in untouched if the pass was on but instead it's a Knights scrum on their 10m. Ross has since been stretchered from the field onto a cart with sideline reporters saying it may be a back fracture. 

51min: NEW 16-4 WAR

Warriors earn a penalty as the Knights hold on too long. New set 20m out. Can they score here?

49min: NEW 16-4 WAR

Stoppage in play as Nathan Ross stays down after contact with Ayshford. He secures Foran's highball but drops to one knee to do so and Ayshford tries to pull out of his tackle but awkwardly rolls into a knee square in the lower back and Knights fullback yells out in pain straight away.

46min: NEW 16-4 WAR

Warriors defend back-to-back sets after the first set ends with a signalling for six more on a poorly-secured kick recovered by the Knights. But they survive and build on a decent set before Foran kicks for the left corner. Knights take it in clean but start their set from inside their 10m.

43min: NEW 16-4 WAR

It looks like the Warriors have forced another dropout but they're penalised for all being offside from Lino's grubber. Silly, silly error ruining a great start to the half. Pressure gone and a Knights set starting on their 30m as a result.

41min: NEW 16-4 WAR

NEW DROPOUT! Second half is underway and it's a brilliant opening set as the Warriors go 83m thanks to a great line break by Roache and an offload to his skipper. Lino grubbers for the in-goal on the last and forces the dropout as a result. Perfect start to the half for the Warriors.

HT: NEW 16-4 WAR

It's tough reading for Warriors fans but the scoreline is a fair reflection of the first half. Warriors came to life for about 5min and scored during it but silly penalties late in the count and painful handling errors ruined any chances to build on it. The Knights really roared into life after defending their line in the opening minute and haven't really slowed down. Kearney will have to give the Warriors better options on the last tackle if the Warriors are hopeful of keeping their season alive. We'll be back in 10min for a big second half.

39min: NEW 16-4 WAR

NEW TWO! Knights oddly choose to take two more despite having the Warriors on the ropes and having a penalty just 10m from the line. It's a free two points but it's very safe with how well they've played this half.

36min: NEW 14-4 WAR

The Warriors half goes from bad to worse as Luke's kickoff goes out on the full to give the Knights a penalty at the restart! They begin their set just 30m from the Warriors' line. A score here would be massive for both teams.

35min: NEW 14-4 WAR

NEW TWO! Knights play it safe as they earn a penalty with less than 5min left in the half. Hodkinson steps up and slots it down the middle.

32min: NEW 12-4 WAR

RTS makes a fantastic linebreak playing advantage on a Knights knock on, he breaks through one tackle into open space, steps another, just has his opposite to beat but he spots Lino in support but the young No.7 gets a case of the butter fingers and drops it cold! Knights get a scrum on halfway but that was a special run by the Warriors fullback.

29min: NEW 12-4 WAR

Knights go 46m on their first set after the Warriors score but the high ball on the last tackle is short and RTS runs for good metres. It gives the Warriors momentum and they move the ball for 67m on the set. Foran gets off a good kick and the Knights are pinned inside their 10m. Warriors suddenly come to life in the game!

26min: NEW 12-4 WAR

WAR TRY! Much better execution from the Warriors who finally show some flair on attack. They skip pass to the right wing where Ayshford runs into contact, rolls off his tackler and offloads to Fusitua who dives for the right corner. He's in to end his nine-game drought.

23min: NEW 12-0 WAR

Knights to to misplay the ball at the ruck. Warriors get a scrum on their 30m and two tackles later earn a penalty as they're held down in the tackle too long. The kick for touch moves them up to the Knights' 20m. Another good chance for the Warriors here.

20min: NEW 12-0 WAR

Warriors kick the ball on the last through Foran once again and once again he kicks it straight to a Knights player. Need to try something new here because that isn't working at all.

17min: NEW 12-0 WAR

Warriors are ruled to have incorrectly played the ball in the ruck on the last tackle so they hand it over for a Knights scrum. Warriors just don't have any flair with the ball in hand at the moment.

15min: NEW 12-0 WAR

Foran tries another small grubber to the left but Gagai reads it perfectly and runs for 15m. Knights carry the ball to halfway but knock the ball on in an attempted offload. So the Warriors get a scrum just inside their half.

13min: NEW 12-0 WAR

Ayshford secures some momentum with a penalty and that's a new set 30m out from the Knights' line. Can the responds straight away here?

11min: NEW 12-0 WAR

NEW TRY! Barnett's in for his second! Warriors are caught napping on their line and the flat-footed defence can't catch up to Barnett running a different line. He cuts back from right to left on the short ball just 5m out and rumbles over the line. The ref thinks he's held up after the Warriors defence finally arrives to slow him down but the Bunker shows he's found the chalk. Horrid start for the Warriors.

8min: NEW 6-0 WAR

Afoa gives away a penalty on the fourth tackle in the Knights' set after the kickoff so the Knights get six more starting on the Warriors 30m. Costly penalties here.

7min: NEW 6-0 WAR

NEW TRY! Knights are in after a great offload from Hodkinson leads to a linebreak. RTS makes a tryscoring tackle but the Knights recycle quickly on the Warriors' 10m and shfit to their left. Barnett sees a hole and strolls through to score.

4min: NEW 0-0 WAR

Sloppy opening minutes from both sides. Knights finish their set with an overcooked kick going dead in-goal and when the Warriors respond, they shift wide on the fourth tackle but Maumalo knocks it on. Knights scrum on their 40m.

2min: NEW 0-0 WAR

Warriors try a grubber on the last through Foran but Afoa mistimes his follow on and over runs the ball! The Knights get the ball and immediately earn a penalty as the Warriors hold on in the tackle too long. New set starting on their 30m and all that early pressure shows for nothing.

KICKOFF

Warriors get things underway and the Knights have knocked it on off kickoff! It's a Warriors scrum 10m from the Knights line to start the game!

PRE-GAME

Matt Manukia, Faleatua Malili and Ben Henry discuss how the Warriors will go against the Broncos with the State of Origin set to start.

Source: 1 NEWS

Warriors boss Stephen Kearney admits an NRL victory over Newcastle today would be important for the club from a cultural perspective, as their finals hopes dangle by a thread.

Only a flawless run home - and fortunate results elsewhere - will see the Kearney-coached Warriors play finals football for the first time since 2011.

That run of five matches starts on Saturday against the hapless Knights, who look likely to finish last on the NRL ladder for the third straight season despite last week's impressive 21-14 win over St George.

Nevertheless, Kearney told reporters his 11th-placed side couldn't afford to take Newcastle lightly or let standards slip.

Two points in the bag would remind the Warriors' fans and backers that the Auckland-based club haven't given up the ghost.

"It's important from a culture sense. We're absolutely not throwing in the towel at the minute, we've got a lot to play for - to make sure we uphold a standard we've set ourselves this year," Kearney said.

"I know it's hard to see it from a ladder perspective and scoreline perspective from week to week, but we've made some real progress in certain areas and the boys don't want to let that slip."

The Warriors are down to their bare bones in the back row for this weekend's Hunter trip, with injured second-row duo Ryan Hoffman and Bodene Thompson unlikely to play NRL football again in 2017.

Thompson injured a pectoral muscle in last week's loss to Cronulla in Auckland, and will undergo further medical tests this week.

James Gavet is also out for the season with a broken arm, while Albert Vete and star playmaker Shaun Johnson are in a race against time.

Teenage reserve-grade regular Isaiah Papali'i will slot in for Thompson, partnering a similarly youthful Bunty Afoa in the back row.

Kearney said veteran lock and vice-captain Simon Mannering may occasionally need to step in and help the pair.

"He's been man-of-the-match in reserve grade, in and around the matchday XXI most weeks. We realise he's got a great deal of potential, it's just about making sure we give him an opportunity," Kearney said of the 18-year-old.

"We're pretty lucky we've got a guy in Simon that can play a few positions."

TEAMS

NEW: 1. Nathan Ross 2. Ken Sio 3. Dane Gagai 4. Peter Mata'utia 21. Chanel Mata'utia 6. Brock Lamb 7. Trent Hodkinson 8. Daniel Saifiti 9. Jamie Buhrer 10. Josh King 11. Sione Mata'utia 12. Joe Wardle 13. Mitchell Barnett

NEW Interchange (from): 14. Danny Levi 15. Luke Yates 16. Lachlan Fitzgibbon 17. Jacob Saifiti 19. Sam Stone 20. Brendan Elliott

WAR: 1. Roger Tuivasa-sheck 2. David Fusitua 3. Blake Ayshford 4. Solomone Kata 5. Ken Maumalo 6. Kieran Foran 7. Mason Lino 8. Jacob Lillyman 9. Issac Luke 10. Ben Matulino 11. Isaiah Papalii 12. Bunty Afoa 13. Simon Mannering

WAR Interchange (from): 15. Sam Lisone 16. Ligi Sao 17. James Bell 18. Jazz Tevaga 21. Nathaniel Roache 22. Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad

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