It was another hard day at the office for the nib Newcastle Knights, as they suffered a 24-12 loss to the North Queensland Cowboys in Townsville on Saturday evening.
With several late changes, the Knights were looking the goods early on.
A brilliant length of the field try by Knights fullback Brendan Elliot helped the red and blue to lead by two points at half time, but Kalyn Ponga led a depleted Cowboys side to a strong second stanza.
The Cowboys took the first points of the match in the seventh minute via Gavin Cooper from dummy-half. The bunker gave it the green light for the try.
A penalty in the 12th minute allowed Kyle Feldt to boot another two points.
It was a brilliant passage of play in the 17th minute, the Knights swung out to the left side, Pete Mata’utia off-loading to winger Nathan Ross to cross over for Newcastle’s first try. Brock Lamb booted the conversion to level it up 6-6.
Just three minutes later a grubber by the Cowboys was picked up by Knights fullback Brendan Elliot as he side-stepped his way through the gap to score a length of the field try and put the Knights in front, 12-6.
With four minutes to go before half time, Ponga dived over for a try to score against his future Club. The Knights took a 12-10 lead into the break.
Seven minutes into the second half, a perfect offload to Cowboys centre Kane Linnett on the left side saw him crash through for a try and prise back the lead for the home side 16-12.
In the 62nd minute, Ponga struck again, through a gap in defence to cross over for the Cowboys. Ethan Lowe takes the conversion to stretch their lead to 22-12.
A penalty to the Cowboys ten metres out saw Lowe take the kick and land another two points in the 72nd minute, the last points before the final siren. The Cowboys win 24-12.
Newcastle Knights 12 (T: Ross, Elliot, G: Lamb 2/2)
North Queensland Cowboys 24 (T: Cooper, Ponga (2), Linnett G: Feldt 1/2, Lowe 1/1 PG: Feldt 2/2)