The Reserve Grade Newcastle Knights were defeated 18-16 by the North Sydney Bears at North Sydney Oval on Sunday afternoon.
The Knights trailed the Bears 16-4 at half time, but the second half comeback just fell short with a penalty goal the difference at the final siren.
In the 15th minute, Bears centre Campbell Graham recorded the first try of the afternoon as Eli Levido went on to convert for the home side to lead 6-0.
Five minutes later the Knights hit back as leading competition try scorer Tom Hughes was left unmarked out wide and sprinted to the try line for Newcastle’s first. An unsuccessful conversion saw the red and blue trail 6-4 midway through the first half.
29 minutes in, the Bears added more to their tally through Tautalatasi Tasi, who dived over for their second before extending their lead with a try via Brett Greinke under the posts.
North Sydney led 16-4 into the halftime break.
In the second half, Pat Mata’utia brushed off Bears defenders to work his way to the line in the 46th minute with Nick Meaney to add the extras to close the gap to 16-10.
Knights winger Thomas Cronin was then able to capitalise on an error by the home side, picking up a loose ball to cross over in the 54th minute. The conversion locked the game at 16-all.
Newcastle opted not to kick for the two points off a penalty and couldn’t quite make it to the line before the Bears got a penalty of their own but Levido’s kick was waved away.
Soon after the Knights tried their luck at a field goal but it was charged down before a mistake from the visitors gifted the Bears the ball back.
A strip ruled by the referee in the 79th minute saw the Bears get another shot for goal and Levido didn’t miss this time, sealing the win 18-16.
Newcastle Knights 16 (T: Hughes, P Mata'utia, Cronan, G: Meaney 2/3)
North Sydney Bears 18 (T: Graham, Tasi, Greinke, G: Levido 2/3, P: 1)
1. Nick Meaney, 2. Tom Hughes, 3. Brendan Elliot, 4. Jacob Gagan, 5. Thomas Cronan, 6. Jaelen Feeney, 7. Jack Cogger, 8. Tyrone Amey, 9. Tyler Randell, 10. Jack Stockwell, 11. Sam Stone, 12. Braden Robson, 13. Bradie Smith. Bench: 14. Will Pearsall, 15. Faitotoa Faitotoa, 16. Pat Mata'utia, 20. Sam Bernstrom.