The NYC Newcastle Knights ran out 34-8 winners over the Penrith Panthers at Hunter Stadium on Saturday morning.
Brock Lamb was in superb form for the home side, scoring the first try and making plenty of good plays at the end of sets.
The Knights struck the first blow of the match, Lamb throwing a nice dummy to break through and score in the 7th minute. Lamb added the extras to his own try to make the score 6-0.
The young Panthers were on the back foot but the Knights couldn't make them pay with a combination of knock-ons and loose passes.
The home side almost paid for their wastefulness in the 14th minute when Dave Cowhan burst through a gaping hole in the Knights' defence only to lose the ball in a last-ditch tackle from behind.
Fullback Dylan Phythian crossed over for his second try in two games six minutes later, exploiting a gap on the left side to score near the uprights. Lamb again converted, pushing the score to 12-0.
The Knights were starting to build up steam and at the end of the next set Lamb placed a perfect kick from 35 metres out that allowed halves partner Jack Cogger to hold Joshua Jay up in goal.
The pressure paid off three minutes later when Cogger crossed over for his first try of the season on the right edge. Lamb's kick was again spot-on, the score 18-0.
The Panthers bounced back through Jay five minutes later, the winger making the most of minimal space on the left touchline to score in the corner. Halfback Dylan Edwards' conversion was waved away to leave the score at 18-4.
Schoolboy international Braden Robson almost pulled off a wonder-try in the 38th minute - latching onto his own grubber in the right corner – but video replays showed that his foot had just come into contact with the touchline.
The half-time siren sounded soon after and the Knights took a healthy 18-4 lead into the sheds.
The Knights started the second half under pressured after Phythian let the kick-off go out of play, with the sun in his eyes.
The Panthers nearly made the Knights pay in their next set with Josh Grant attempting to force his way over from dummy-half, but the hooker was deemed to be held up in-goal.
The Knights made no mistakes in the 47th minute, centre Josh Birch steam-rolling his way over on the left edge to score. Lamb's conversion was waved away this time, leaving the score at 22-4.
The Panthers struck back two minutes later, winger Jay bagging his second with the help of a slick pass from left edge partner Christian Crichton. Edwards was again unable to convert from the sideline, the score 22-8 with 25 minutes to play.
The Knights continued to press in attack and in the 62nd minute Danny Levi scooted over from dummy-half to score. Lamb again converted to push the score to 28-8.
The Panthers refused to give up despite the 20-point margin and with 11 minutes left on the clock it looked as though Jay had crossed over for his third try of the morning.
The Knights made a Captain's Call though and replays showed that Jay was marginally out of touch when placing the ball down.
The Knights raced back up the other end of the field on the back of a penalty and Levi scored his second, twisting out of a tackle to get the ball down.
Lamb was proving flawless with his kicks and scored again, giving the Knights a 34-8 lead that they took to the full-time siren.
1. Dylan Phythian, 2. Brody Lam, 3. Josh Birch, 4. Braden Robson, 5. Ken Tofilau, 6. Brock Lamb, 7. Jack Cogger, 8. Josh King, 9. Danny Levi, 15. Ben Steven, 11. Bradie Smith, 12. Jacob Saifiti, 13. Luke Yates. Interchange: 14. Jack Kelly, 19. Noah Easton, 16. Faitotoa Faitotoa, 17. Ben Stone.
Knights 34 (T: Lamb, Phythian, Cogger, Birch, Levi 2, G: Lamb 5/6)