The nib Newcastle Knights were downed by the Penrith Panthers 30-20 at McDonald Jones Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
The Knights stunned the Panthers early with two tries in the first ten minutes and kept the visitors scoreless for the first half, but the Panthers stormed home scoring 30 points.
In the first five minutes, an offload out the back from Jaelen Feeney landed in the hands of Knights five-eighth Brock Lamb who glided over for the first points of the match. Lamb backed up with the kick for the home side to lead 6-0.
A red-hot Knights then went back-to-back in the eighth minute, Danny Levi threading it to forward Daniel Saifiti for his first try of 2017. The Knights lead 12-0.
It was a back and forth tussle for the next 25 minutes before a penalty allowed the Knights to kick for goal straight and stretch the scoreline to 14-0 into half time.
After the break, the Knights worked overtime in defence but in the 48th minute, Matt Moylan broke through, diving over for the Panthers' first try.
A few minutes later it was the Leilani Latu who crashed through a Newcastle wall of defence for their second try of the afternoon. Nathan Cleary finished with the kick to close the gap to 14-12.
In the 65th minute, James Tamou crashed over the try line before a pin point grubber saw Dallin Watene-Zelezniak further extend the visitor's lead 24-14.
A strong Penrith defence just stopped Daniel Saifiti short of reaching the try line, while down the other end a missed grounding from Dane Gagai at the back allowed Moylan to score his second.
With a minute to go Pete Mata’utia added to the scoreboard but it wasn’t enough, as the Panthers claimed a 30-20 victory against the Knights.
Newcastle Knights 20 (T: Lamb, D. Saifiti, P. Mata’utia, G: Lamb 3/3, PG: Lamb 1/1)
Penrith Panthers 30 (T: Moylan 2, Latu, Tamou, Watene-Zelezniak, G: Cleary 5/5)