Trent Barrett has begun his Bulldogs tenure in less than ideal circumstances, going down convincingly to the Knights.

Trent Barrett has begun his Bulldogs tenure in less than ideal circumstances, going down convincingly 32-16 to the Newcastle Knights at McDonald Jones Stadium.

It was a tale of two halves for the visitors who shot off the blocks early when Kyle Flanagan worked his magic to have Dallin Watene-Zalezniak and Adam Elliott over the line.

But the experienced hand of Mitchell Pearce guided the Novocastrians to an eight-point lead by the half.

Returning for the second period, Adam O’Brien’s men wouldn’t look back as Daniel Saifiti and Bradman best piled on the pain to motor Newcastle to a season-opening win.

Newcastle Knights. (Getty)

In his 100th NRL appearance, Saifiti was a standout amongst the Knights crop.

Scoring two tries, including the Knights’ first of the night, Saifiti ran for 152 metres and had five tackle busts, three offloads and two linebreaks.

“We took it personally, we knew it was going to be wet weather footy and we had to roll up our sleeves and do the tough stuff,” Saifiti told Fox League afterwards.

“I got goosebumps running the boys out, the meat pie was just a cherry on top.”

MORE TO COME.

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