A spirited second-half comeback has helped the Newcastle Knights record an impressive 31-18 victory over the Cronulla Sharks at Remondis Stadium on Sunday.
Inspired by five unanswered tries in the second stanza, the Knights charged to a comfortable win after trailing 18-6 at the halftime break.
The 13-point triumph is the Club's fifth win for the season and keeps them in 14th position on 14 points after 18 rounds of the 2014 season.
Skipper Kurt Gidley was a standout for the men in red and blue, while he was well backed up by forwards Kade Snowden, David Fa'alogo and Beau Scott.
The Knights will look to maintain their momentum next Sunday when they host the Gold Coast Titans at Hunter Stadium in RiseForAlex Round.
Newcastle made a number of changes prior to kick-off.
Adam Clydsdale and David Fa’alogo both returned from injury to take their places at starting hooker and replacement forward respectively.
Meanwhile, Adam Cuthbertson and Joseph Tapine dropped out of the 19-man squad.Cronulla had the dream start to the match when halfback Michael Robson barged over from close range after just three minutes.
Fullback Michael Gordon coveted from right in front to give the Sharks an early 6-0 lead.
The Knights received a great opportunity to hit back through five-eighth Jarrod Mullen after 10 minutes, but the playmaker was ruled to have knocked the ball on with the try line looming.
Newcastle remained calm though and slowly worked their way back into the match.
The Knights looked certain to be awarded their first try after 22 minutes through back-rower Chris Houston, but were denied due to a knock-on.
The Sharks then had an invaluable chance to score up the other end just minutes later via hooker Michael Lichaa, but the emerging No.9 lost control of the ball.
Cronulla refused to lay down though and extended their lead after 28 minutes through Gordon.
The former Panther picked off a brilliant pass from his skipper Paul Gallen to score next to the uprights.
Gordon converted his own try to give the Sharks a handy 12-0 lead with seven minutes remaining in the first half.
A crucial Darius Boyd mistake gifted Cronulla more territory just minutes later, before winger Sosaia Feki added to the Sharks’ advantage with a try in the eastern corner.
Gordon nailed the sideline conversion to make the score 18-0 in the closing stages of the opening half.
Newcastle finally registered their first try after 37 minutes when prop Willie Mason charged over from close range.
Skipper Kurt Gidley converted to reduce the Sharks’ lead to 12 points with one minute left on the clock.
Cronulla’s Robson had a great chance to kick a field goal on the stroke of halftime, but he missed.
It was the Sharks though who went to the main break leading 18-6.
The Knights had the perfect start to the second half when they retained possession from a short Kurt Gidley kick-off.
This advantage was soon nullified though following a basic knock-on from replacement hooker Tyrone Roberts.
While Newcastle couldn't convert on that occasion, they were playing better football in the second half.
Boosted by greater field possession and intent with the football, the Knights crossed after 54 minutes through winger Aku Uate.
The Fijian flyer picked off a pinpoint kick from Mullen to score and get the men in red and blue back in the game.
Gidley added the extras to reduce the Sharks' lead to just six points with 25 minutes remaining.
The skipper then turned try-scorer for Newcastle minutes later with a great individual effort, before converting to lock the scores at 18-all with 21 minutes left on the clock.
Newcastle hit the lead after 64 minutes via back-rower Beau Scott, who crashed over following a brilliant face ball from Gidley. The skipper converted to give the Knights a handy 24-18 lead with 15 minutes left.
The men in red and blue extended their lead after 67 minutes when Mullen picked off a great pass from prop David Fa'aologo to race away and score his first try for the season.
Gidley added the extras to give his side a comfortable 30-18 lead with nine minutes on the clock. Mullen sealed the win for the Knights with a field goal in the dying stages.