The nib Newcastle Knights couldn’t come back against the Brisbane Broncos, defeated 34-22 at McDonald Jones Stadium on Saturday evening.
There were several late changes and the Knights looked promising early with a six-point lead at half time.
But with three early tries in the second stanza, the Broncos managed to hold off a comeback from Newcastle.
27 minutes in Broncos winger Jordan Kahu leaped into the air to latch onto a high kick, crashing to the line before converting his own try.
In the 32nd minute a short ball by Trent Hodkinson landed into the hands of co-captain Sione Mata’utia, who finished it off with his third try of the season. Hodkinson converted and the scores were locked up, 6-all.
With five minutes to go before the half time siren, Nathan Ross dished off to Danny Levi who found space for a 30-metre dash to the line. Hodkinson nailed the conversion for the Knights to lead 12-6 going into the break.
In the first minute of the second half, the Broncos’ James Roberts picked up the crumbs from an awkward bounce to sprint 70-metres down field for the try. Kahu converted to level the scores 12-all.
In the 47th minute the Broncos took back the lead via Tautau Moga, before a one-handed offload to Anthony Milford, back from injury, saw him roll across for the try. The Broncos stretched their lead, 24-12.
Off the back of a short kick from Brock Lamb, winger Chanel Mata’utia dived over in the left corner 55 minutes in before still on a high from his Origin win, Dane Gagai collected a precision pass from Hodkinson to crash over. A missed conversion put the Knights within two points, 24-22.
70 minutes in however, Korbin Sims wrestled his way over the try line before the Broncos’ Jonus Pearson was on the end of a pin-point grubber to slide through for more points to seal the Broncos win 34-22.
Newcastle knights 22 (T: S. Mata’utia, Levi, C. Mata’utia, Gagai, G: Hodkinson 3/4)
Brisbane Broncos 34 (T: Kahu, Roberts, Moga, Milford, Sims, Pearson, G: Kahu 5/6)