The NSW Cup Knights beat the Wyong Roos 20-10 at Pirtek Stadium on Sunday afternoon to become the 2015 premiers.
While the Club came so close last season, there were no mistakes from the red and blues this season as they put in a comprehensive performance to see off their local rivals.
In what was a fitting send-off for captain Clint Newton, the Knights scored all of their tries down the left edge via unstoppable duo Kerrod Holland and Honeti Tuha.
The side named an unchanged line-up from last weekend and the continuity clearly paid off, although it was Wyong that scored first points in the 11th minute.
Centre Nathan Smith barged his way over in the left corner thanks to some strong build-up play from his forwards, but Tyler Cornish was unable to add the extras from out wide.
Five minutes later Wyong looked like they had scored again when Jack Siejka beat Jake Mamo to a grubber, but the video referee ruled that the forward hadn’t grounded it.
Play resumed and the red and blues had clearly been given a wake-up call.
Honeti Tuha raced away to score a try in the left corner with 16 minutes played, and then four minutes later Jaelen Feeney made a break from halfway that resulted in Kerrod Holland diving over.
Holland was successful from the tee on the first count to give the Knights a 10-4 lead.
There was plenty of passion to go with the local derby, and in the 32nd minute an altercation on the field saw Mamo and Roos five-eighth Jono Ford sin-binned.
The Knights shrugged that off two minutes before half-time when Tuha broke out of a tackle 45 metres out to make a swerving run to the try-line.
He seemed to do the impossible in evading several defenders, giving the Knights a ten-point buffer leading into the break.
11 minutes into the second half the Knights almost extended their lead, George Ndaira placing a short grubber that somehow evaded three scrambling defenders. NYC graduate Jacob Saifiti seemed to be the first to react by grounding it, but the referee ruled that the Roos’ Omar Slaimankhel had got there first.
From the line dropout the Knights couldn’t be stopped though, Tuha taking a pass from Holland to charge down the sideline and grab his third. Ndaira took to the tee this time and made no mistakes from the sideline, pushing the score 20-4.
With 14 minutes to play Mamo showed how much he will have to offer in first grade next year, making 60 metres from a kick return with a mazy run that saw him beat seven or eight players.
The Roos were still full of fight though, and with ten minutes left on the clock Smith crossed over for his second try on the right edge. Cornish made no mistakes with his conversion this time to push the score to 20-10, but two minutes later big Sam Mataora looked to have extended his side’s lead when he powered over the line.
The referee ruled that he hadn’t grounded it though, and the Roos quickly pushed up the other end of the field to force a line dropout.
The Knights clung on though, the final score 20-10.
Newcastle Knights 20 (T:Tuha 3, Holland; G: Holland 1/3, Ndaira 1/1)
Wyong Roos 10 (T: Smith 2; G: Cornish 1/2)