A determined defensive effort proved the difference as the Newcastle Knights suffered a 32-6 loss against the Brisbane Broncos at Hunter Stadium on Friday night.
The Knights had a number of attacking opportunities throughout the match, but couldn't crack the strong Broncos' defence.
Brisbane led 16-6 at the half-time and piled on four second half tries to take home the two competition points.
While the Knights didn't get the result, they had a number of strong performers. Rookie winger Jake Mamo was solid on debut despite copping plenty of attention from the Broncos.
Prop Willie Mason also continued his strong form up front, but in the end it wasn't enough against an impressive Brisbane outfit.
Newcastle will look to rebound when they take on the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs at ANZ Stadium in Sydney next Saturday night.
Brisbane gave debutant Mamo his first test in the top grade with a towering bomb in the opening minutes, but the rookie flyer was up to the task.
The Knights had back-to-back sets on the Broncos’ line in the opening minutes, but couldn’t crack their determined defence.
Mamo copped a big hit from Brisbane forward Alex Glenn after seven minutes, but showed great grit to get up and force a strong tackle at the end of the set.
The Broncos opened the scoring after 16 minutes when Glenn finished off a pinpoint kick from halfback Ben Hunt.
Corey Parker missed the conversion, but it was Brisbane with an early 4-0 advantage.
Brisbane extended their lead in the 23rd minute following a determined try from lock Matt Gillett.
Gillett finished off a great inside ball from fullback Ben Barba to score adjacent to the uprights.
Parker converted from in front to give the Broncos a 10-0 lead with 16 minutes left in the first half.
Tyrone Roberts fell awkwardly in a tackle in 28th minute but in a good sign rose to his feet to play on.
Brisbane were on top though and added to their lead just two minutes later following some brilliance from winger Daniel Vidot.
The former Raider managed to keep the ball alive before he went over the sideline, enabling Jack Reed to pick it up and pass for Barba to race away and score.
Parker added the extras to give the away team a commanding 16-0 lead with 10 minutes remaining in the first half.
Newcastle hit back with just three minutes left in the first half via replacement prop Korbin Sims.
The Gerringong-born bookend proved too strong from close range from a perfect face ball from hooker Adam Clydsdale.
Roberts converted to reduce the Broncos’ lead to 16-6 with four minutes left in the half.
Newcastle had a great chance to score on the stroke of halftime, but Mamo was unable to catch a Jarrod Mullen kick.
Mamo had a brilliant start to the second half when he went on a surging 40 metre run. He beat a host of Brisbane defenders, but the Knights couldn't finish his effort off with a try.
Newcastle had a invaluable opportunity to score in the 59th minute, but centre Joey Leilua threw a wayward pass that was ruled a knock-on.
The Broncos extended their lead in the 55th minute following a try to winger Dale Copley. Parker missed the conversion from the sideline, but it was the away team with a comfortable 20-6 lead with 16 minutes remaining.
Brisbane added to their advantage in the 67th minute via a penalty goal to Parker to give the Queenslanders a 22-6 lead.
The Broncos were finishing full of running and continued their dominance the 74th minute with a barnstorming Ben Hannant barging over from close range.
Parker missed the conversion, but it was Brisbane in control leading 26-6 with five minutes left on the clock.
Brisbane capped off a strong win in the 77th minute following a try to five-eighth Josh Hoffman.
Parker added the extras from in front to round out a big win away from home.
NRL Match Summary
Newcastle Knights 6 (T: Sims, G: Roberts 1/1)
Brisbane Broncos 32 (T: Glenn, Gillett, Barba, Copley, Hannant, Hoffman, G: Parker 3/6, Hunt 1/1)