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Deflated players from both teams after an extra time drawhttp://c1.puntersparadise.net/news/photos/Deflated players from both teams after an extra time draw-1375451565_n.jpg

Broncos and Knights in stalemate

Deflated players from both teams after an extra time draw

Brisbane and Newcastle both left Hunter Stadium feeling like winners despite playing out an 18-all NRL draw on Friday night.
Broncos and Knights in stalemate
by AAP

By Darren Walton

NEWCASTLE, NSW, Aug 2 AAP - Brisbane and Newcastle both left Hunter Stadium feeling like winners despite playing out an 18-all NRL draw on Friday night.

Knights captain Jarrod Mullen missed with four field goal attempts in 10 crazy minutes of extra time, while Broncos halves Peter Wallace and Ben Hunt were also denied in golden point as the match ended in a heart-stopping stalemate.


The Knights looked dead and buried trailing 18-10 with eight minutes remaining before late tries to Beau Scott and Akuila Uate locked the game up.

But veteran hooker Craig Gower missed both conversion attempts, including a sideline shocker with the chance to win the game in the final minute of regulation time.

The draw, though, kept Newcastle clinging to eighth spot and left coach Wayne Bennett claiming a moral victory.

"As far as I'm concerned, in the position that we're in, it's as good as a win," Bennett said.

"I've got no mixed emotions about that. They did what you want your football team to do - not give up, keep at it."

Gower stepped up for Newcastle's final two conversion attempts after Bennett replaced first-choice goalkicker Tyrone Roberts midway through the second half.

"I've got no regrets about that," Bennett said.

"We had a game to win and you've got two interchange players and you've got to try and get in your head what's going to work for you.

"I could see them working their hearts out and I was just trying to help a little bit and get them to where they can.

"That's what you've got to do as a coach."

The Broncos' share of the points kept their finals hopes flickering.

But still languishing in 12th spot, four points adrift of the eighth-placed Knights, they will almost certainly need to win all five remaining games to squeeze into the playoffs.

In a bonus, four of those games will be in Brisbane.

"We're not doing too many sums at the moment. We're just trying to play some tough footy," said Broncos skipper Sam Thaiday. "I think that's a bit of money in the bank there. We're going home now. I am looking forward to getting back on Suncorp Stadium and playing some good footy. We're coming.

Brisbane coach Anthony Griffin also saw the glass half-full, claiming a win and a draw from away games in Townsville and Newcastle were enough to give his side a platform to launch a late title push.

"I was very proud of their efforts," Griffin said.

"They showed a tremendous amount of character. That second half we couldn't get any ball or field position.

"It doesn't feel like a loss. There was a lot of positives to come out of it."

The draw also ended Bennett's sorry run of nine straight defeats against former sides he has coached since leaving the Broncos in 2008, first to join St George Illawarra and then the Knights last year.

The veteran coach just wishes he didn't have to sit through an extra excruciating 10 minutes.

"At the end of the night, we both walked away with one point each and the fans have got to go home with one point each and we all get on with life," he said.

"And for the life of me, I can't see why the game didn't stop at 80 minutes. I hope in the future we get to that point."




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