The NYC Newcastle Knights were defeated 21-16 by the St George Illawarra Dragons at Jubilee Oval on Sunday morning.
Despite a double from Dragons winger Dane Francis, the Knights held up a two-point lead in the first half but the home side managed back-to-back tries midway through the second stanza to seal the win.
The Knights made their presence felt early with a Cameron King try under the posts after seven minues. Kainoa Gudgeon converted to put the red and blue in front 6-0.
In the 19th minute, Francis went out wide for the home side’s first points before diving over in the left corner 10 minutes later to record the double. The Dragons gained the lead 8-6.
After 32 minutes, Knights centre Kyle Smith was on the scoreboard, crossing over on the left edge to lead the Knights into half time in-front, 10-8.
After the break, almost a double as Smith was held up over the line before the Knights’ Heath Gibbs weaved his way through defence to slide over for the points. Newcastle lead 16-8.
In the 63rd minute, Dragons centre Zachary Lomax made the journey over the line and minutes later it was forward Jackson Ford to add to the tally to put the home side back in front, 20-16.
Right on the final siren, five-eighth Tristan Sailor booted a field goal to secure the Dragons a 21-16 win.
Newcastle Knights 16 (T: King, Smith, Gibbs, G: Gudgeon 2/3)
St George Illawarra Dragons 21 (T: Francis 2, Lomax, Ford, G: Lomax 2/4, FG: Sailor)
1. Matthew Cooper, 2. Mitchell Andrews, 19. Kyle Smith, 4. Heath Gibbs, 5. Kainoa Gudgeon, 6. Kurtis Dark, 7. Hayden Loughrey, 8. Cameron King, 23. Tom Starling (c), 10 Pasami Saulo, 11. Jack Johns, 12. Samuel McIntryre, 13. Zac Hosking. Interchange: 9. Nash Birch, 15. Henry Penn, 16. Mathew Croker, 17. Jayden Butterfield. 17
St George Illawarra Dragons
1. Steven Marsters, 21. Dane Francis, 3. Matheson Johns, 4. Zachary Lomax, 5. Jason Gillard, 6. Tristian Sailor, 7. Jackson Willis, 8. Mathew Sheppard, 9. Cooper Purcell, 10. Fa’atui Uele, 11. Stuart Mason (c), 12. Jackson Ford, 13. Josaia Lovodua. Interchange: 2. Dylan Morris, 14. Tom Angel, 17. Brayden Gallagher, 20. Josh Dowel.
Next up, the young Knights take on the Wests Tigers on Sunday at McDonald Jones Stadium.