Knights go back-to-back
The nib Newcastle Knights have beaten the New Zealand Warriors 26-10 to record their fourth win of 2017.
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A double from forward Mitch Barnett helped Newcastle to a 12-point lead by half time before they grinded out a tough last 40 minutes to seal the victory.
In the sixth minute the Knights scored after a precision pass by Brock Lamb to back rower Mitch Barnett to run through the gap for his first try of the season. Trent Hodkinson converted in front as Newcastle led 6-0.
In the 10th minute, it was again Barnett to muscle his way to the line and the bunker overruled a held-up call to award his second try for the match. Hodkinson booted it from out front to stretch the lead, 12-0.
The Warriors got their first 25 minutes in via David Fusitu’a who dived over in the right corner. Issac Luke missed the conversion from the sideline, for the Knights to lead 12-4.
A penalty five minutes out from half time saw Hodkinson kick for goal and get the two points before a mistake from the Warriors saw them kick it out on the full and hand over the possession.
Just before the siren, another penalty came the Knights' way and they opted to kick for goal again as Hodkinson nailed another one in front to extend their lead, 16-4.
After the break, Nathan Ross was injured and assisted from the field before the visitors were denied a try due to a forward pass.
In the 58th minute, an offload by Lamb landed in the hands of Lachlan Fitzgibbon who ran 30 metres to score the Knights’ third try of the afternoon. Newcastle continued to push out their lead, 20-4.
The Warriors picked up ball after some scrappy play and Nathaniel Roache took it cleanly to the line for their second. Luke added the extras to reduce the Knights lead, 20-10.
In the 72nd minute, Sione Mata’utia managed to break free as he dished it to forward Josh King before Lamb ended up with the ball to finish it off.
Hodkinson booted the conversion to stretch the lead to 26-10 and seal their first back-to-back wins.
Newcastle Knights 26 (T: Barnett 2, Fitzgibbon, Lamb, G: Hodkinson 3/4, PG: Hodkinson 2/2)
New Zealand Warriors 10 (T: Fusitu’a, Roach, G: Luke 1/2)