Tag Archive: Antonio Kaufusi

Knights demolish Fiji

Newcastle made light work of Fiji Bati as the Knights opened their 2011 NRL pre-season with a 72-0 thumping at EnergyAustralia Stadium on Sunday night. Playing before a crowd of just under 3,000, the Knights ran in 14 unanswered tries against the overmatched opponents, whose squad contained 14 players who had never before been out of Fiji. The Knights have developed a link with the Fijian rugby league association in recent times, with the NRL club helping with the development of the game on the tiny Pacific island. Peter Mata’utia was the star of the show for the home side with two tries and three goals, the young fullback one of 12 try-scorers with Josh Ailaomai also scoring a double. Running out a side featuring a smattering of regular first graders, the Knights were in control from the outset with prop Antonio Kaufusi particularly dominant – though Fiji gave as good as they got with the match punctuated by a series of big hits from both packs. Continue reading


Kaufusi joins the Knights

Newcastle have bolstered their flagging forward stocks with the signing of former Test prop Antonio Kaufusi through to the end of the 2012 NRL season. Kaufusi will join the Knights next week despite having a contract with North Queensland through to the end of next season, his arrival finally giving coach Rick Stone some depth following the pre-season departure of Danny Wicks and Chris Houston. Wicks and Houston both quit the club after being charged with drug-related offences. “With the way our current playing roster sits, the addition of a player of Antonio’s experience and ability is a massive boost to us here at the Knights,” coach Rick Stone said. “I’ve kept a close eye on him since he began playing in the Queensland Cup in the early 2000s, then through some very successful years at the Storm, and more recently with the Cowboys. “Antonio fits the exact requirements of what we need at this point in time and we are excited about him joining us next week.”

Round 1 Teams – Cowboys Update

Cowboys forwards Carl Webb ($156,000 FRF/2RF) and Willie Mason ($178,100 FRF/2RF) are both in battle, but this time its for a place in the starting side and not in the ring. Mason’s arrival from Bondi to join Webb, Luke O’Donnell ($221,900 2RF) and Aaron Payne ($237,500 HOK) in the Cowboys pack would have at first appeared a certain starter, but due to his late arrival in the north, the former Test and State of Origin enforcer still lacks match fitness. Webb is in a similar boat after missing last the┬átrial against the Gold Coast in Darwin with a calf problem and Coach Henry cannot afford to take two underdone big men into such an important match. “If Willie plays then we might not be in a position to carry both,” the coach lamented. “There’s no doubt he will be underdone,” Henry said of Webb, who could find himself in the Queensland Cup playing for Northern Pride against the Sunshine Coast in Cairns. “We’re pretty happy with how the other players are going. Payne, O’Donnell, Matt Scott ($179,400 FRF) and Scott Bolton ($224,00 2RF) are certainties. Steve Southern ($155,300 2RF), Manase Manuokafoa (137,100 FRF), Antonio Kaufusi ($142,700 FRF), James Tamou ($141,600 FRF) and Steve Rapira ($161,400 2RF) all are worthy of an opportunity against the Broncos. Clint Amos ($93,500 HOK/2RF) is in consideration for a bench spot and Will Tupou (Not Listed) could land in the back row, wing or on the interchange.