The inaugural women’s Newcastle Knights team showed class against the Cronulla Sharks, to claim a 16-12 victory in an exhibition match at Shark Park on Saturday afternoon.

While the Sharks put the first points on the board, a determined Knights side clawed their way back to snatch the lead with two minutes to play.

Early on the Sharks crossed the line via Shontelle Stowers, with a successful conversion to lead the Knights 6-0.

A good run by Knights’ Amy Broadhead couldn’t quite reach the line before out of dummy half, Kylie Hilder scored the first try for the red and blue. Margaret Watson converted to level it 6-6 at the halftime break.

Shortly after the break, a penalty allowed the Knights to attack and when the ball landed in the hands of Jillaroo Isabelle Kelly, she sprinted across the line.

The Sharks’ Botille Vette-Walsh dodged through a hole in defence to crash over the line before a conversion had the Sharks up by two points, 12-10.

But minutes before the final siren, the Knights dug deep for Jayme Fressand to score. The conversion sailed through and the Knights sealed the win 16-12.

NEWCASTLE

1. Amy Broadhead, 2. Alicia Martin, 3. Isabelle Kelly, 4. Jayme Freesard, 5. Brooker Carter, 6. Caitlin Moran, 7. Simone Smith, 8. Bec Young, 9. Kylie Hilder, 10. Phoebe Desmond, 11. Donna Sutton, 12. Holli Wheeler, 13. Jerry Burgmann, 14. Skye Lovett, 15. Margaret Watson.

CRONULLA

1. Corban McGregor, 2. Jordan Baker, 3. Shontelle Stowers, 5. Botille Vette-Welsh, 6. Allana Ferguson, 7. Maddison Studdon, 8. Kate Mullaly, 9. Nita Maynard, 10. Ruby Ewe, 11. Kaarla Cowan, 12. Talesha Quinn, 13. Ruan Sims, 14. Rima Butler, 16. Simone Kapriani, 20. Tayla Preston.