The Reserve Grade Newcastle Knights recorded an 18-all draw against the New Zealand Warriors at Cessnock Sports Ground on Saturday afternoon.
Despite trailing by a try at half time, the Knights dug deep to take the lead in the second stanza but the Warriors scored just before the final siren to level it up.
Off the plane and straight to Cessnock, Brendan Elliot who was left off the NRL squad, took only seven minutes to cross over for a try, backed up by a successful conversion from Trent Hodkinson. The Knights lead 6-0.
Ten minutes later the Warriors’ Jazz Tevaga came off the bench to get the visitors first and level the score before New Zealand winger Samuel Cook crossed over in the 32nd minute to lead the knights 12-6 into the halftime break.
In the second half, Knights forward Braden Robson recorded back-to-back tries to lead the Warriors 18-12, 63 minutes into the match.
New Zealand then staged a comeback in the final few minutes to again level the scores via Isaiah Papalii and finish the match locked up at 18-all.
Newcastle Knights 18 (T: Robson 2, Elliot, G: Hodkinson 3/3)
New Zealand Warriors 18 (T: Tevaga, Cook, Papalii, G: Lino 3/3)
1. Nick Meaney, 2. Tom Hughes, 3. Brendan Elliot, 4. Jacob Gagan, 5. Thomas Cronan, 6. Will Pearsall, 7. Trent Hodkinson, 8. Mickey Paea, 18. Joey Morris, 20. Josh King, 14. Braden Robson, 12. Pat Mata’utia, 13. Tyrone Amey. Interchange: 9. Tom Starling, 10. Sam Mataora 15. Bradie Smith, 17. Pauli Pauli.
1. Zachary Santo, 2. C. Nicoll-Klokstad, 3. Fetalaiga Pauga, 11. Ofahiki Ogden, 9. Samuel Cook, 6. Mafoa’aeata Hingano, 7. Gustav Lino, 8. Toafofoa Sipley, 20. Nathaniel Roache, 10. Ligi Sao, 18. Bunty Afoa, 12. Isaiah Papalii, 13. James Bell. Interchange: 14. Jazz Tevaga, 15. Patrick Sipley, 16. Charlie Grubb, 17. Tevita Satae.