The Newcastle Knights lost 30-12 to the Penrith Panthers at Pepper Stadium on Saturday afternoon to bring an end to the 2015 season.
In what was the final game in Knights colours for Kurt Gidley, Clint Newton, Beau Scott and Tyrone Roberts, and while it wouldn’t have been the result they were looking for, they all put in industrious shifts to do their legacies at the Club proud.
The scoring started early in the match when fullback Will Smith ran through a gaping hole in the defence to dive over. Smith then added the extras to his own try, but soon after Tariq Sims nearly pegged one back for the Knights.
The second-rower wasn’t quite able to ground the ball though, and five minutes later he was in the thick of things again when he conceded a penalty ten metres out from his own line.
The Knights weathered the following set though, Nathan Ross flinging David Simmons out of touch just short of the line.
The red and blues then troubled the Panthers’ line with successive sets, but the good work was undone with back-to-back penalties soon after that culminated in a penalty goal to Smith.
The Knights finally scored their first points in the 28th minute, Newton storming over the line with three markers clinging on. Tyrone Roberts converted to push the score to 8-6.
With four minutes left in the first half Jake Mamo beat several men much taller and heavier than him to a Roberts kick, spinning out of a tackle to score right of the uprights and put the Knights into the lead for the first time. Roberts again converted, pushing the half-time score to 12-6.
The first set from the Knights in the second half saw an error, but the Novocastrians defended the error well.
There was no stopping the Panthers five minutes later though, as Dean Whare found too much space on the right edge to score. Smith again added the extras to give his side a two-point advantage.
Minutes later the Knights coughed up the ball when Chris Smith made an intercept and ran 70 metres. Roberts did brilliantly to bring him down from behind, but in the very next play Tyrone Peachey took advantage of a defence in disarray to dive over. Will Smith again converted to push his side’s lead out to eight.
The Knights needed to be the next side to score, but unfortunately it was Josh Mansour of the Panthers that picked up the next four-pointer, the winger collecting a pass from his centre to bag an easy try.
Smith’s attempted conversion screwed wide, but with three minutes remaining Dane Gagai threw a pass that was never on for Peachey to intercept and score his second of the afternoon. Simmons converted, pushing the final score to 30-12.
Newcastle Knights 12 (T: Newton, Mamo, G: Roberts 2/2)
Penrith Panthers 30 (T: W Smith, Whare, C Smith, Mansour, Peachey 2, G: W Smith 3/5, Simmons 1/1, P: W Smith 1/1)