The NYC Newcastle Knights were beaten 32-28 by the Wests Tigers at Campbelltown Stadium on Saturday morning.
Despite trailing by 26 points at one stage, the young Knights rallied admirably to lead by two points late in the piece.
A Tigers try two minutes from time saw the home side grab the win though, and the red and blues were left to rue a very slow start.
Jake McNamra and Kanoa Gudgeon were standouts for the Knights with two tries apiece, while Harold Matthews graduate Brayden Musgrove made his NYC debut on the wing.
First points were scored in the fifth minute by the Tigers, Jacob Liddle intercepting to run 40 metres and dive beneath the posts.
Six minutes later the home side were over again, back rower Jacob Giles offloading to Daniel Roberts.Thomas Bartley converted on both counts to make the score 12-0, and seven minutes later the Tigers continued their dominance with another try to Trent Pye.
With 27 minutes played the Tigers showed some more free-flowing football for winger Ryan Papenhuyzen to score.
Things went from bad to worse when the Tigers scored from the restart via Roman Ioelu, but soon after the Knights finally kicked into gear when Heath Gibbs leapt high to collect a kick from McNamara and score.
Three minutes later the Knights scored again, McNamara going it alone this time to make the half time score 26-10.
Early in the second half Gudgeon went over, a lucky bounce allowing him to dive beneath the posts untouched. McNamara converted, and ten minutes later the half notched his second try following some great teamwork.
With the score sitting at 26-22 with 20 minutes to play both teams were desperate to score the definitive try. Seven minutes from time the Knights came up with the goods, McNamara threading Sam Stone through the defence for a try.
McNamara converted to put the Knights in front for the first time, but with less than two minutes left on the clock the Tigers came back with a vengeance, Ray Stone diving over to make the final score 32-28.
Newcastle Knights 28 (T: Gibbs, McNamara 2, Gudgeon, Stone, G: McNamara 4/5)
Wests Tigers 32 (T: Liddle, Roberts, Pye, Papenhuyzen, Ioelu, Stone, G: 4/6)
1. Nick Meaney, 2. Dean Kouka-Smith, 3. Heath Gibbs, 4. Kainoa Gudgeon, 5. Brayden Musgrove, 6. Jake McNamara, 7. Hayden Herbert, 14. Ryan Glanville, 9. Nick Newman, 10. Jamayne Taunoa-Brown, 11. Zac Hosking, 12. Sam Stone, 13. Jayden Butterfield. Interchange: 8. Eddy Tuilotolava, 15. Tom Starling, 16. Pasami Saulo, 17. Brodie Jones.