The Reserve Grade Newcastle Knights were beaten 34-32 by the New Zealand Warriors at Hunter Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
The Knights were first on the scoreboard, fullback Bryce Donovan collecting a short ball to get over the line. He added the extras to his own try, but four minutes later the away side hit back via halfback Jeff Robson.
The Knights were in fine attacking form though, and four minutes later winger Matthew Soper-Lawler leapt skyward to grab a spiralling bomb and score. Donovan added the extras to double the Knights’ lead, but six minutes later the Warriors again pegged the home side back with a try to centre Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad.
With 31 minutes played the Warriors took the lead for the first time, forward Shaun Lane forcing his way over the line.
Less than a minute before half time Knights five-eighth Kurt Aldridge came up with a crisp pass for Luke Yates to run ten metres and score. Donovan added the extras to make the half time score 18-16, but four minutes into the second half the Warriors scored their fourth try via Mason Lino.
The away side were on a roll now, and five minutes later Ata Hingano found a hole to sneak over the line.
The Knights weren’t giving up just yet though, and 20 minutes from time edge back rower Lachlan Fitzgibbon got over the line. Donovan added the extras to make the score 28-14, but again the Warriors bounced back with a try, this time to James Bell in the 66th minute.
Four minutes later Soper-Lawler made it a brace on the left touchline, collecting a classy pass from Fitzgibbon to score.
With only a try in it the Knights went for broke, and with four minutes left on the clock Mayo Uta collected a pass to dive over the line. Donovan was unable to convert though, to leave the final score at 34-32.
Newcastle Knights 32 (T: Soper-Lawler 2, Donovan, Yates, Fitzgibbon, Uta, G: 4/6)
New Zealand Warriors 34 (T: Robson, Nicoll-Klokstad, Lane, Lino, Hingano, Bell, G: 5/6)