Newcastle Knights made it back-to-back wins with a 26-22 victory over North Sydney Bears at No2 Sports Ground.
Just two minutes into the match, Knights centre Nathan Ross cut through some easy defence to score the opening try.
Strong winds made kicking difficult but with the wind going against, the Knights had more trouble.
North Sydney found some rhythm in attack and were rewarded with a try from Cody Walker. Darren Nicholls added the extras and the Bears led 6-4.
Moments later Walker scored his second of the day and the upset was on the cards.
The Knights were ill-disciplined with the ball and scrappy at times. Norths were also guilty of mistakes and invited the Knights with good field position, which allowed Chanel Mata’utia to score after a nice right side movement. Danny Kerr added the extras and it was locked up at 10-all.
Shortly after Chanel Mata’utia scored out wide again in picking up his second try double in two games. The Knights enjoyed a 14-10 lead heading into half time but that joy was short lived when they lost half back Danny Kerr to a foot injury. Kerr was carried from the field and took no further part in the game. However after the match Kerr was seen walking around indicating positive signs for the Knights.
On field things got worse for the Knights when Cody Walker scored his third for the Bears early in the first half. Nicholls again added the extras and the Bears were back in front 16-14.
Newcastle found themselves in attacking territory on several occasions but couldn’t find their way over the line until a piece of brilliance from Jake Mamo turned the game on its head. Mamo took it upon himself to chip, chase and regather to score next to the uprights. Chad Redman took over the kicking duties and converted the Mamo try.
The Knights looked in control now and although only in front by four, they soon added another try after a strong run by back rower Lachlan Fitzgibbon. The Fitzgibbons try was converted by Redman and the score was now 26-16 in favour of the red and blue with 15 minutes remaining.
Newcastle took their foot off the pedal and allowed the Bears back into the contest when John Olive scored out wide, which was converted by Nichols to make the scores 26-22 with two minutes left on the clock. North Sydney had one last chance to snatch a result but a lost ball ended their chance to win the game. Newcastle held on to win with a less-than-convincing performance over the bottom-placed Bears 26-22.
Newcastle Knights 26 (Chanel Mata’utia 2, Nathan Ross, Jake Mamo & Lachlan Fitzgibbon tries. Danny Kerr 1 & Chad Redman 2 Goals) bt North Sydney Bears 22 (Cody Walker 3, John Olive 1 tries, Darren Nicholls 3 Goals)