Wests Tigers turned an early 10-point deficit around to overpower Newcastle Knights 20-18 at Hunter Stadium.
In a game that went down to the wire, a hat trick to Knights winger Honeti Tuha was not enough for the home team who had not lost since round six.
Wests Tigers fullback Tim Moltzen almost created his team’s first chance while opposing fullback Jake Mamo almost created something out of nothing for the Knights.
The Knights enjoyed the weight of possession early on and were rewarded through Nathan Ross, who burrowed his way to the line and almost somersaulted over the defender to score the opening try.
Although there were little points in the opening half hour of play, it was still end-to-end action.
The Knights got into a good attacking zone and fooled the Tigers defence by running a blind side play close to the line for Tuha to score.
Trailing 10-0, the Tigers needed to hit back and they did in fine style, with Lamar Liolevave charging onto a short pass from Josh Drinkwater to score.
The Knights finished the half terribly by kicking the restart out on the full followed by a penalty that invited Wests Tigers to attack.
Try-scoring machine John Sila capitalised on the advantage as he crossed the stripe to lock the scores up to 10-all at half time.
The second half had barley got underway with the Tigers going the length of the field in the opening set after some good hard runs up the middle.
Drinkwater made a linebreak off the back of these runs and found Brenden Santi who linked up with a flying Tim Moltzen to score near the posts, giving Wests Tigers their first lead.
In danger of throwing the game away, the Knights hit back with Tuha scoring his second try. The conversion was missed and Wests Tigers hung on to a slim 16-14 lead.
With plenty of time left both sides traded attacking raids but neither side was able to cross.
With time running out, Nathan Milone looked to have sealed the win for the Tigers when he scored two minutes before full time. Howver, the Knights would respond.
Down by six with a minute remaining, the Knights regathered from the kick off and attacked down the left edge for Tuha to complete his hatrick. On the stroke of full time, Pythians difficult conversion from the sideline was waved away and the Tigers had won a truly entertaining game footy 20-18.
Wests Tigers 20 (Tim Moltzen, Nathan Milone, John Sila & Lamar Liolevave tries. Josh Drinkwater 3 goals) defeated Newcastle Knights 18 (Hontei Tuha 3 & Nathan Ross tries. Dylan Pythian 1 goal) at Hunter Stadium.