Dogs bottom as Knights snap losing streak

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Canterbury coach Trent Barrett bemoaned a familiar pattern of failure as the Bulldogs slumped to the bottom of the NRL ladder in an uninspiring defeat to Newcastle.

Barrett's side have only won two of their opening 10 games to start the 2022 season after falling to a 16-6 loss in the Magic Round opener at Brisbane's Suncorp Stadium on Friday night.

The Bulldogs finished with the wooden spoon last season and despite overhauling the club's roster, they still look shorn of ideas with the ball in hand.

Apart from lively five-eighth Matt Burton and glimpses from winger Josh Addo-Carr, Canterbury struggled to offer any threat against a Newcastle side that were relieved to snap a seven-game losing streak.

"I sound like a broken record," Barrett said.

"It's the same every week and it's not good enough.

"I think everyone does (need to step up). We're just making too many errors and making it too hard for ourselves."

The key to sparking the Bulldogs' attack might come by moving Addo-Carr to fullback.

The former Melbourne flyer has played on the wing all season but Matt Dufty's performances in the No.1 jersey will no doubt give Barrett consideration of a switch.

"Josh is reliant on a lot of things inside him," he said.

"He's got a license to get around the field as well but it's hard to put blame on your winger, but getting him and Burton more ball is (important).

"We need the ball in their hands but you've got to hang onto to it do that."

Canterbury were their own worst enemies. Whenever they had the Knights under the pump they knocked on or gave away a pressure-relieving penalty.

Newcastle were not much better but after going through all of April without a win, coach Adam O'Brien was simply relieved.

"We needed to win, how it looked in terms of attack didn't matter to me," he said.

"I just wanted to see that defensive resolve which we showed. It was an important game for us and that showed in our defensive actions."

Newcastle took the lead courtesy of a Kalyn Ponga penalty before the Knights fullback played a part in helping Edrick Lee score his first try at elite level since his heroics in Queensland's 2020 Origin campaign at the same ground.

Ponga had a wobbly opening 20 minutes under Burton's high bombs on a wet Suncorp track but was solid thereafter.

The only blemish was when a well-weighted Burton grubber weaved its way in-goal and Addo-Carr touched down.

Burton nudged a penalty just before the break with Newcastle taking charge of the game when centre Bradman Best went over for the Knights' second of the night.

Canterbury struggled to come up with much of a response and with five minutes remaining Newcastle halfback Adam Clune jinked through the Dogs' defence to secure victory.

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