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The Newcastle Knights' NYC team proved they could win without star trio Jake Mamo, Joe Tapine and Sione Mata'utia with a strong win over the Sydney Roosters on Saturday.

Of greater importance though, the under 20s Knights unearthed another impressive junior from the Club's vast talent pool in winger Braden Robson. 

A product from Mount St Patrick College in Murwillumbah in far north-eastern NSW, Robson got the call-up to the Holden Cup after impressing in the SG Ball side that made it through to the finals this season.

Assistant coach Craig Smith was pleased with the youngster's effort in his first taste of 20s football.

"Of course we are going to miss three quality players like Sione, Joe and Jake, but that’s what the NYC is about to go and provide opportunities for people to go up and play in the NRL," Smith tells Knights TV.

"It also gives younger players like Braden a chance to step up.

"He is one of the young under 18s players to come up and I thought he did really well.

"He got a victory on debut and looked good out there for us, so I hope he is probably there for the rest of the year for us." 

On the back of a strong second-half performance, the Knights' 20s charged to an impressive triumph against the Roosters. 

The four-point win snapped a three-game losing streak for the team, whilst it also proved that they can beat the top outfits in the competition.      

Smith was rapt with the result, especially with the side's ability to fight back from an early 14-0 deficit in the first half.   

"Our first 20 minutes of footy over the past month hasn’t been good for us," he admits. 

"And once again today we didn’t start the way we wanted to, but the way that we come home was pleasing I guess.

"So the emphasis this week was on effort.

"We wanted our boys to fight right to the end and in a game of footy who need to be able to play for 80 minutes.

"Our boys did that for us today.

"It might not have been pretty, but you take the win.

"More importantly it gives us that confidence from the victory to know that we can play not that well, but still come away with the win against a quality side.

"So we’ll work all this week with the confidence that we are good enough to go."

The Knights will look to maintain their form when they take on the North Queensland Cowboys on Monday night at Hunter Stadium.  

Fullback Bryce Donovan, who kicked two vital penalty goals in the second half against the Roosters, believes the Cowboys will provide a stern test for his side.

The Knights recorded a 32-16 victory over the lads from Townsville back in Round 5, but it was a final result that didn't reflect the closeness of the match according to Donovan. 

"We went up there earlier this year and they did give us a good run," Donovan says.

"But we’ll prepare during the week and give it our best shot.”