The NYC Newcastle Knights recorded a 26-22 win over the South Sydney Rabbitohs at McDonald Jones Stadium on Saturday afternoon in blustery conditions.
The young Knights came back from 12-point decifit at half time with the talented work of Knights five-eighth Jack Johns and fullback Matt Copper laying the platform to edge out a tough win.
Just 10 minutes in, a spectacular leaping try came via Knights winger Dean Kouka-Smith for the home side to lead by four.
The Rabbitohs hit straight back when fullback Dylan O’Connor sprinted through the pack for Souths' first try of the match.
It was then a solo try for Johns, who forced his way over. With Matt Cooper's conversion, the Knights lead 10-4 after 18 minutes.
Down the other end, the Rabbitohs made room in the left pocket for Bailey Shiach-Wise to score in the 22nd minute, before Adam Doueihi levelled it up with the kick, 10-all.
In the last 10 minutes Souths turned it up another notch with two tries coming from Doueihi and hooker Phoneix Hunt to lead the Knights 22-10 at half-time.
After the break persistence paid off for the Knights, with Kouka-Smith crossing the line for his second, although the wind continued to hamper kicking efforts.
Good metres gained led to the next four points, landing in the hands of fullback Cooper, who weaved his way through to score. Johns converted from straight in front, but Souths still led 22-20.
Minutes later, another red and blue try came via a length of the field run, Hayden Loughrey offloading to big man Cameron King.
Johns made it two from two to put the Knights back in front and get the win, 26-22.
Newcastle Knights 26 (T: Kouka-Smith 2, Johns, Cooper, King, G: Cooper 1/3, Johns 2/2)
South Sydney Rabbitohs 22 (T: O’Connor, Shiach-Wise, Doueihi, Hunt G: Doueihi 3/4)
1. Matt Cooper, 2. Mitch Andrews 3. Brayden Musgrove, 4. Heath Gibbs, 5. Dean Kouka-Smith, 6. Jack Johns, 7. Hayden Loughrey, 8. Viko Puliuvea, 9. Tom Starling, 10. Cameron King, 11. Zac Hosking, 12. Sam McIntyre, 13. Kurtis Dark. Interchange: 14. Dylan Clark, 15. Will Davies, 16. Keanu Dawson, 20. Tavita Fesolai.