The NYC Newcastle Knights lost 24-10 to the Cronulla Sharks at Hunter Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
With Danny Levi making his NRL debut there was a reshuffle in the spine with Brock Lamb returning to the halves, Jake McNamara moving into hooker and Bryce Donovan reclaiming the fullback position.
Following much probing and pushing the Sharks scored first points in the 7th minute, centre Joshua Addo-Carr finishing off a neat backline move to score in the left corner. Jamayne Isaako was unable to convert from out wide, leaving the score at 4-0.
Five minutes later the visiting side looked certain to score again when Levy Sopi broke down the left edge, but Donovan did well to shift wide and bring him down.
There was no stopping the Sharks in the 20th minute though when some slack defending let Jayden Brailey play a simple ball from dummy-half for Billy Magoulias to score.
Isaako slotted his conversion second time around, and five minutes later the Knights almost bounced back with the help of a repeat set when winger Ken Tofialu dived over in the corner.
A captain's challenge saw the on-field referee's ruling of a try overruled, but with seven minutes left to play in the first half the Knights finally got their points when Braden Robson forced his way over on the right.
It was just reward for the young Knights following an extended period of dominating the play, but Brock Lamb was unable to add the extras from the sideline, leaving the half-time score at 10-4.
It was until 17 minutes into the second half that the game saw its next try, and unfortunately for the Knights it came through Sharks utility Curtis Scott. Isaako's kick was waved away, but the visitors were still ten points ahead with only a quarter of the game remaining.
The Knights showed they were up for the challenge though, as in the 53rd minute Fuaimamao Uta came up with a brilliant piece of individual skill to strip his opposite number of the ball two metres out from the line.
The Knights were unable to make anything of their next set though, and the Sharks punished them with another try three minutes later.
Sopi was the scorer this time, but Isaako again missed his conversion to leave the score at 18-4.
The Knights struck back with nine minutes to play when giant forward Josh King found a gap and ran twenty metres to score, and Donovan added the extras to push the score to 18-10.
Two minutes later both Magoulis and Sam Apthorpe were sin-binned for starting a scuffle, but the Sharks shrugged that off to score via hooker Brailey soon after.
Jack Williams took to the tee this time and scored, pushing the final score to 24-10.