A second half revival for the Newcastle Knights U20s earned the team its 32-18 win against the South Sydney Rabbitohs on Saturday at Redfern Oval.
Team manager, Craig Smith said the Knights fought back from a rocky start after an inspirational half time message from coach Mick Crawley.
“We started the game well and then a couple of errors went against us and they (Rabbitohs) capitalised,” Smith explained.
The Knights were first to score but the Rabbitohs were quick to reply, crossing the line twice before the first half.
“We played quiet poorly in the first half, so at half time the coach fired a rocket.”
“It was the most animated our coach has been at half time.
“He asked the team for a better performance in the second half and that’s what the team gave us.
“He delivered a very honest message to the boys about where they were and what he was after from them and our boys responded which was good.
“We were able to control the tempo of the game, and get through a few sets and built pressure, and that allowed us to score a few tries.
“Across the board the majority of our boys actually rolled up their sleeves."
Brock Lamb, who made his NYC debut last round was a stand out in the match setting up two tries and nailing conversions.
“Brady Smith scored two tries out in the centre and saved two tries for us,” Smith said.
Smith acknowledged the next fives games present a challenge for the Knights, but believes the team is boosted by its position on top of the competition ladder.
"Our second half performance was quiet strong, so building on that I think we will be ready for Melbourne this week."
The Knights NYC now face the Melbourne Storm in Round 22 at Hunter Stadium.
The Newcastle Knights Under 20s defeated the South Sydney Rabbitohs 32-18 at South Sydney Oval on Saturday afternoon.
The win keeps the young Knights on top of the Under 20s ladder.
Jacob Gagai, Joshua Birch, Bradie Smith, Chance Peni, Braden Robson, Brock Lamb, Sam Keenan, Tuiala Togitasi, Daniel Levi (c), Luke Yates, Harry Pondekas, Joseph Tapine, Joseph Boyce. Bench: James De Saxe, Pride Petterson-Robati, Tama Koopu, Marvin Tauhinu.