The NYC Newcastle Knights edged out the St George Illawarra Dragons 30-22 at McDonald Jones Stadium on Saturday, to jump back into the top eight.
It was an even affair for most of the first 40 minutes with only a try in the last minute putting the Dragons in front, but the home side were able to grind their way back in the second stanza to snatch the lead in the last 10 minutes.
A lucky bounce off the post allowed the Dragons’ Hayden Lomax to snatch the ball over the line in the 7th minute. Jackson Willis converted for the visitors to lead 6-0.
Soon after Mitch Andrews made an almost length of the field run and shrugged off three defenders, before Matt Cooper rolled his way to the line for the Knights first. Jack Johns nailed the conversion to level the scores 6-all.
In the 21st minute, Jackson Willis found the gap to cross over under the posts for the visitor’s second and converted his own try. The Dragons led 12-6.
With a run of repeated sets, the Knights tried to break through a tight Dragons defence before finally Johns wrestled his way over the line to plant the ball down. Johns converted his own try to again level the scores, 12-all.
Just before the half time siren, the Dragons snuck one in via forward TJ Uele, to lead the Knights 16-12 going into the break.
In the second half, an over the head pass out wide landed in the hands of Dragons five-eighth Tristan Sailor to crash over in the 47th minute. The conversion stuck to stretch the visitors lead, 22-12.
55 minutes in, the Knights went right to centre Heath Gibbs as he side-stepped several Dragons defenders to dive across for the points. The Knights trailed 22-18.
The Knights capitalised on a dropped ball going out wide to Andrews who finished off with the try in the 64th minute. Johns couldn’t make it four in a row, the scores levelled at 22-all.
In the 72nd minute, the Knights went to the right side again with a cut-away pass to Gibbs who dived over on the edge for Newcastle to lead for the first time in the match before Johns makes a dash for the line on the siren to seal the win, 30-22.
Newcastle Knights 30 (T: Cooper, Johns 2, Gibbs 2, Andrews, G: Johns 3/6)
St George Illawarra Dragons 22 (T: Lomax, Willis, Uele, Sailor, G: Willis 3/4)
1. Matt Cooper, 2. Mitch Andrews, 3. Cory Denniss, 4. Heath Gibbs, 5. Ofa Manuofetoa, 6. Jack Johns, 7. Hayden Loughrey, 8. Cameron King, 22. Nash Birch, 10. Viko Puliuvea, 11. Brodie Jones, 12. Sam McIntyre, 13. Zac Hosking. Interchange: 15. Henry Penn, 17. Matt Croker, 20. Jayden Butterfield, 29. Luke Huth.
1. Steven Marsters, 2. Dane Francis, 3. Reuben Garrick, 17. Hayden Lomax, 5. Jason Gillard, 6. Tristan Sailor, 7. Jackson Willis, 8. Stuart Mason, 9. Joe Lovodua, 10. Josh Dowel, 11. Trent Peoples, 12. Jackson Ford, 13. Brayden Gallagher. Interchange. 14. TJ Uele, 15. Tom Angel, 16. Elijah Hunt, 19. Jack Cross.