Knights downed by Tigers
The nib Newcastle Knights were defeated 33-12 by the Wests Tigers in Voice for Mining Family Day at McDonald Jones Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
There were several late changes as Trent Hodkinson came back into the side at halfback and Joe Wardle made his return from injury.
The Knights were under pressure in the first 40 minutes, conceding 20 unanswered points, and despite a comeback midway through the second stanza, were unable to catch the Tigers.
The visitors put down the first points of the match via Malakai Watene-Zelezniak to lead 6-0 after seven minutes.
The Tigers almost got their second off a 50 metre dash through the middle but dropped the ball just short of the line before dummy-half Jacob Liddle dived over near the posts in the 24th minute. The Tigers led 12-0.
The visitors managed to find the line via fullback Kevin Naiqama minutes later, before a penalty allowed Tuimoala Lolohea to kick for points to stretch their lead to 20-0.
It was almost a try for the Knights just before half time, but the referee ruled a forward pass to Pete Mata’utia before he dived over in the corner.
Ten minutes into the second half Danny Levi crashed over the line, but the bunker denied the try before another came the Tigers' way via David Nofoaluma in the 54th minute.
In the 62nd minute, forward Lachlan Fitzgibbon stormed through to get the Knights' first try. Hodkinson made the conversion for the home side to trail 24-6.
A few minutes later Dane Gagai broke free and placed a chip that ricocheted into the hands of Joe Wardle. The Englishman's try got the Newcastle within 12 points.
But a field goal, a penalty goal and a Luke Brooks try sealed the 33-12 win for the Tigers.
Newcastle Knights 12 (T: Fitzgibbon, Wardle, G: Hodkinson 2/2)
Wests Tigers 33 (T: Watene-Zelezniak, Little, Naiqama, Nofoaluma, Brooks, G: Lolohea 4/4, PG: Lolohea 2/2, FG: Brooks)