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The NYC Newcastle Knights beat the South Sydney Rabbitohs 24-22 at Allianz Stadium on Saturday night to force their way back into the top-eight.

The spine of the side saw another re-shuffle with Jack Kelly moving to hooker and Jake McNamara accompanying Brock Lamb in the halves.  

That particular combination performed well, dominating the match at the key moments despite a late resurgence from the home side.

The opening minutes of the game were a real arm-wrestle between the two sides as the opposing forward packs fought for dominance, until a botched penalty kick from Rabbitohs half Eli Levedo  gave the Knights an early chance.

It wasn't until the 15th minute that the red and blues found their points though, Luke Yates marking his return from injury by charging over the line with three markers clinging on.

Ten minutes later a penalty just off the Rabbitohs' line saw the Knights score again, halfback Jake McNamara placing a tricky grubber for Fuaimamao Uta to ground in the corner.

In only his second game back at the Knights, centre Jacob Gagai scored a spectacular 70-metre try when he intercepted a pass in the 32nd minute. He was far too quick down the left touchline for any Souths defender, and Lamb converted to push the score to 18-0.  

Minutes later the Rabbitohs struck back via Gabe Hamlin, the lock weaving his way through multiple defenders to ground the ball beneath the uprights. Levedo's kick was on target to push the half-time score to 18-6.

The Rabbitohs didn't miss a beat at the start of the second half, second-rower Haimona Hiroti finishing off a neat play down the left wing. Levedo's attempted conversion from the sideline skewed wide though, leaving the Knights with an 8-point margin.

The margin was pushed back to 14 points in the 68th minute when forward Josh King made an unstoppable run to dive over left of the uprights.

The Rabbitohs came back with determination, and with 14 minutes to play winger Josh Ellison looked certain to score when he was played through a gap on the right edge.

Jared Nott and Gagai did brilliantly to force him out of play, but there was no stopping the Rabbitohs seven minutes later when Joe Gardiner slipped through the line to score.

Gardiner crossed over for his second try with only a minute left on the clock, Levedo converting to push the final score to 24-22.


Newcastle Knights 24 (T: Yates, Uta, Gagai, King, G: Lamb 4/4)
South Sydney Rabbitohs 22 (T: Hamlin, Hiroti, Gardiner 2, G: Levido 3/4)


Donovan, Uta, J Saifiti, Gagai, Nott, Lamb, McNamara, King, Kelly, D Saifiti, Smith, B Stone, Yates. Bench: Butterfield, Amey, S Stone, Starling.