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The Newcastle Knights were defeated 28-22 by the Parramatta Eels at Hunter Stadium on Sunday night.

Despite plenty of promising attacking play the Knights' errors at crucial times were costly, giving a desperate Eels side their first win in three weeks.

Tyrone Roberts' kick off served up a wickedly spinning ball that almost resulted in a knock-on.

A penalty against the Eels in the following set built a platform for the home side and Jarrod Mullen came close, winding past several defenders to get close to the line before being tackled.

On their next attempt the men in red and blue managed to cross over in emphatic fashion, Dane Gagai and Akuila Uate combining on the right to make a break 45 metres out. Uate threw the defence off with a sharp change in direction, passing to Chris Houston to give the veteran second-rower his second try of the season.

Roberts converted, giving the the Knights a 6-0 lead with six minutes gone.

Six minutes later Reece Robinson dropped a Roberts kick ten metres out, giving the Knights another opportunity to build some pressure. Uate collected a cut-out ball from Mullen, rounding Reece Robinson to score an easy try and become the Knights' third highest point-scorer of all time.

Roberts again nailed the conversion, the Knights now winning 12-0 with fourteen minutes played.

The Eels collected their own kick-off with the help of a strong wind and they took full advantage, John Folau forcing his way over in the left corner despite the Knights enjoying the vast majority of possession up until that point. Sandow did well to place his kick from the sideline, reducing the Knights' lead to 12-6 with 17 minutes played.

The Knights endured plenty more pressure from the Eels over the next ten minutes but thanks to a clever Mullen kick 50 metres out Bureta Faraimo was held up in-goal to force a repeat set.

The Knights were unable to capitalise after Korbin Sims fumbled the ball five metres out from the line.

The Eels scored five minutes out from half-time when Folau burrowed over for his second on the left. Video replays showed that he had managed to ground the ball but Sandow's kick screwed wide, leaving the score at 12-10.

The score remained the same when the half-time siren sounded, the Knight having enjoyed 56 per cent of possession and conceding only one penalty.

On the back of a penalty the Eels scored first points in the second-half, Sandow calling for the kicking tee ten metres out. His kick was accurate, levelling the scores at 12-12 with only three minutes gone in the second-half.

The Knights collected their own kick-off and the Eels were penalised in the following set, Roberts also opting for a penalty kick ten metres out to push the Knights back into the lead 14-12.

The Eels quickly retaliated with the help of a very lucky bounce from a Sandow grubber, Bureta Faraimo collecting the ball to score. Sandow's conversion sailed wide, keeping the score at 18-14 with 30 minutes left to play.

In what was fast turning into an end-to-end battle the Knights scored next, Gagai exploiting a decoy run from Uate to score his fifth of the season. Roberts' kick went well wide, locking the score at 18-18.

Despite a Sandow 40-20 the Knights managed to score again, Joey Leilua showing some deceptive footwork to crack the Eels' defence open and then feed James McManus for his first try of 2015. Roberts again struggled with the wind as his kick went wide, the score 22-18 with twenty-one minutes to play.

On the back of a questionable penalty the Eels were next to score, hooker Nathan Peats forcing his way over from dummy-half in the 67th minute. Unfortunately for the Knights Sandow's conversion was spot-on, boosting the score to 24-22.

The Knights continued to push hard but errors crept into their game as they became more desperate in their hunt for points.

The Eels duly punished them, Peats clamping down on a loose ball to score his second of the evening. Sandow's conversion sliced wide, leaving the score at 28-22 with five minutes to play.

The Eels closed the game out and despite plenty of effort the Knights suffered their their third defeat in a row.


Newcastle Knights 22 (T: Houston, Uate, Gagai, McManus, G: Roberts 2/4, PG: 1)
Parramatta Eels 28 (T: Folau 2, Faraimo, Peats 2, G: Sandow 3/4, PG: 1)