The Newcastle Knights have extended their Intrust Super Premiership NSW winning run to four, scoring a come-from-behind 22-12 win over the Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles at McDonald Jones Stadium.
Down by 12 points early, the Knights found way to score an inspiring win, lifting them to within striking distance of the competition’s all-important top four.
It was the Blacktown Workers side who opened the scoring through rake Joey Lussick, who touched down to give his side the match’s first points.
Jackson Hastings made light work of the conversion attempt adjacent to the posts, as the Sea Eagles raced to a 6-nil front.
In a first-half interrupted by ill-discipline on both sides of the ball, it was the Sea Eagles who eventually proved the better to settle into the rhythm of the contest, and they were rewarded with a second try in the 22nd minute.
Barnstorming prop Kelepi Tanginoa was rewarded for his work done in the middle third early in the match, with a neat try close to the Knights’ goal-line.
A right-to-left switch play caught the Newcastle defence unawares, and again Hastings turned four into six with his attempt on goal.
Down by a dozen but far from out of the contest, the Knights found a source of hope as Tom Hughes leapt above the pack to score his side’s opening try.
Collecting a kick from five-eighth Will Pearsall, Hughes showed athleticism and strength to nab the ball before brushing aside three would-be defenders to score.
The margin remained at eight as the conversion attempt sailed wide, with the Sea Eagles maintain their advantage through to the sound of the half-time siren.
The third-quarter of the match resembled much of that of the second, as the side’s traded blows though without much success.
As did his halves partner Pearsall in the Knights’ first, halfback Jack Cogger laid on an important try for back-rower Braden Robson.
A deft pass at the line saw Robson into acres of space, which the bullocking edge-forward capitalised on to cross for a try.
Bryce Donovan converted, bringing the Knights back to within two points.
That deficit quickly became a four-point lead when Faitotoa Faitotoa latched on to a loose ball to score Newcastle’s third.
In a rapid swing of momentum, the hosts scored their second try in the space of three minutes to take a 16-12 lead with 10 minutes to play.
Capping a memorable last month, Knights fullback Nick Meaney sliced through the Blacktown defence in trademark style, handing off to Pasami Saulo to score the sealing try.
The last-ditch effort from the Sea Eagles’ defence was no match for the rampaging forward, as Donavan extended the scoreline to the eventual 22-12, as it finished.