The NYC Newcastle Knights were able to overcome a strong Sydney Roosters outfit to win 22-20 at McDonald Jones Stadium on Good Friday.
While both sides couldn’t be separated at half time with a 10-all score line, the visitors came charging into the second stanza adding the first 10 points only for the Knights to claw their way back in a thrilling finish.
It wasn't a great start for the Knights with Viko Puliuvea assisted off the field with a leg injury in the first minute before winger Zane Blake crashed over for the visitors seven minutes in.
In the 17th minute it was the Knights' turn, the ball swinging out wide to land in the hands of winger Mitch Andrews for the four-pointer, the conversion unsuccessful as Newcastle trailed 6-4.
The Roosters returned fire as Jarred Anderson burst his way through to cross the line in the 25th minute before the Knights’ Josh Ralph, on his return from injury, came up with a try to level the score at 10-all into the break.
In the second half, Sydney took just a few minutes to add another four as Sean O’Sullivan slammed down the ball in the middle before backing it up with the kick.
In the 61st minute, the Roosters’ Kiah Cooper leaped to gather a high kick, his momentum seeing him across the line before Knights centre Heath Gibbs crossed 72 minutes in to reduce the scoreline to four.
It was with five minutes to go, the scores were again levelled thanks to the fancy footwork of Hayden Loughrey crossing the line. A conversion followed from Gudgeon putting the Knights in the lead 22-20 to win the match.
Newcastle Knights: 22 (T: Andrews, Ralph, Gibbs, Loughrey, G: Gudgeon 3/4)
Sydney Roosters: 20 (T: Blake, Anderson, O’Sullivan, Cooper, G: O’Sullivan 2/4)
1. Matt Cooper, 2. Mitch Andrews, 3. Brayden Musgrove, 4. Heath Gibbs, 22. Kainoa Gudgeon, 6. Jack Johns, 7. Hayden Loughrey, 8. Cameron King, 9. Tom Starling, 10. Viko Puliuvea, 11. Dylan Clark, 12. Sam McIntyre, 17. Pasami Saulo. Interchange: 16. Jayden Butterfield, 18. Henry Penn, 19. Josh Ralph, 20. Eddy Tuilotolava.
1. Adam Pompey, 2. Zane Blake, 3. Kiah Cooper, 4. Jarred Anderson, 5. Kenneth Koro, 6. Lachlan Lam, 7. Sean O’Sullivan, 14. Ben Thomas, 9. Jesse Marschke, 10. Luke Chalker, 11. Zac Cardassilaris, 12. Josh Curran, 13. Victor Radley. Interchange: 8. Joseph Ratuvakacereivalu, 16. Jarrett Boland, 17. Jackson Frei, 20. Juvilee Samiu.