Inspired by a hat-trick to star centre Sione Mata'utia, the Newcastle Knights' NYC side continued their winning ways with a comfortable 42-12 victory over the Gold Coast Titans at Hunter Stadium on Sunday.
In a fitting start to RiseForAlex day, the Knights piled on eight tries to charge to their 12 triumph of the season.
Mata'utia was the standout player with his potent running and defensive game, while he was also well supported by half Jaelen Feeney, winger Josh Birch, five-eighth Sam Keenan and bustling back-rower Lachlan Fitzgibbon.
The 30-point win keeps the men in red and blue on top of the Holden Cup ladder after 19 rounds.
The Knights will look to maintain their strong form when they take on the Sydney Roosters at Hunter Stadium on Friday night.
Newcastle made a number of changes prior to kick-off, including Jake Mamo, who dropped out of the 17-man squad due to NRL commitments.
The Knights had the perfect start to the match thanks to a Gold Coast mistake on just the second tackle.
This gave the home side invaluable chance to open the scoring, but hooker and captain Danny Levi was held up over the line.
Newcastle retained possession though and crossed through centre Sione Mata’utia.
Fullback Bryce Donovan missed the conversion, but it was the Knights with an early 4-0 lead.
Mata’utia was the star again just minutes later when he did it all himself to grab his second try.
Donovan added the extras to give the Knights a handy 10-0 lead with 23 minutes remaining in the first half.
The Gold Coast hit back after 21 minutes via fullback Jahrome Hughes.
Halfback Kane Elgey converted to reduce Newcastle’s lead to just four points with 19 minutes left on the clock.
Newcastle extended their lead in the dying stages of the half when halfback Jaelen Feeney pounced on a perfect grubber from five-eighth Sam Keenan.
Donovan converted to give the men in red and blue a comfortable 16-6 advantage.
The Knights finished off the first half in style with a try to hard-running back-rower Lachlan Fitzgibbon.
Donovan converted to give the home side a dominant 22-6 lead at the main break.
The Titans opened the scoring in the second half to reduce the Knights' lead to 22-12 with 35 minutes remaining in the match.
Newcastle refused to lay down though and quickly rediscovered control of the match when winger Josh Birch finished off a great team try.
Donovan added the extras to extend the Knights' lead out to 26-12 with 27 minutes left on the clock.
Birch barged over for his second try minutes later and Donovan again proved faultless with the boot to push the lead out to 30-12 with just 10 minutes remaining.
The Knights were full of running and finished off the game in style with two late tries through Chance Peni and Mata'utia to round out an impressive win.