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The Newcastle Knights' Harold Matthews side are the 2014 premiers following a commanding 34–4 victory over the Penrith Panthers at Leichhardt Oval on Saturday afternoon.

Hudson Young was a late replacement in the starting line up for the injured five eighth Nash Birch, who was rested due to concussion he suffered last week.

The Under 16s side got off to a dream start when halfback Brendan O’Hagan put back rower Joel Taylor over for first points.

Minutes later, hooker Tom Starling split the Panthers defence before finding centre Heath Gibbs out wide, who kicked in field, setting up the perfect bounce for Young to score next to the posts.

At 10-nil early, the Knights added to the scoreline when Gibbs again proved too classy for his centre opponent, shrugging off three defenders and crossing in the corner.

Just when Penrith looked set to respond, Young scored his second of the day. Proving his worth, Young swooped on a Panthers pass, intercepting and running 90 metres to score, fending off several defenders in the process.

Brendan O’Hagan was not having much luck with the boot with several attempts out wide and the score remained 18-nil.

Minutes before half time, Penrith were on the attack again until O’Hagan intercepted another Panthers pass to race 50 metres to the try line.

The kick was good and the Knights took a commanding 24-point advantage into the half time break.

Newcastle returned to the second half and controlled the early stages.

They took further advantage when lock Kurtis Dark threw a lovely cut out ball to winger Brayden Musgrove who scored untouched.

The following set, the Knights cemented the game when captain Brodie Jones made a break, beating both the fullback and winger to score next to the posts.

Penrith scored a late consolation try, but the young Knights would be crowned premiers following the commanding win.

The grand final triumph is the Knights' first in 14 years.

Next Saturday, the Knights will take on Queensland’s under 16s side the Northern Pride for the National Title.

For highlights of the Harold Matthew Grand Final, Fox Sports will broadcast at 4pm on Tuesday.


Newcastle 34 (T: Hudson Young 2, Joel Taylor, Heath Gibbs, Brendan O’Hagan, Brayden Musgrove, Brodie Jones tries; O’Hagan 3/7 goals) defeated Penrith 4 at Leichhardt Oval.