The nib Newcastle Knights made it three wins in a row with a 29-10 defeat of the Parramatta Eels at ANZ Stadium on Friday evening.
The Knights fired early with two tries in the first ten minutes but the home side retaliated to close the gap to two points by half time, although the visitors showed fighting spirit in the second stanza, adding 17 unanswered points.
A run of penalties allowed the Knights repeated sets before a quick tap by Dane Gagai on the left edge landed in the hands of Ken Sio to dive over in the corner.
Trent Hodkinson nailed the conversion from 30 metres out for the visitors to lead 6-0.
Minutes later it was Brock Lamb to set up Newcastle’s second try in just eight minutes as he broke free from the pack. Mitch Barnett came up with the ball to finish it off nicely before Hodkinson added the extras in front to stretch the lead to 12-0.
In the 18th minute, it was the home side’s turn to score as Michael Jennings put the foot down to sprint 40 metres to the line. Parramatta trail 12-4.
The Eels nearly had their second but the boot of Semi Radradra snuck over the side line and it was deemed a no try.
Scramble defence was outstanding by the Knights but finally Parramatta found a way as Will Smith picked up the crumbs from a high ball to cross over in the final minute before halftime. The bunker awarded the try and the Knights led 12-10 into the break.
In the second half, the Eels racked up several forced errors before Pete Mata’utia collected a short grubber to touch down in the 51st minute but a review by the bunker deemed him off-side and the try was denied.
A stray ball could have seen another Knights try but Smith was sin binned for a professional foul before a precision pass from Lamb landed in the hands of Lachlan Fitzgibbon to run through a gap to cross over. The kick was good by Hodkinson as the Knights lead 18-10.
60 minutes in, Lamb fended off three defenders to muscle his way to the line and seven minutes later, Sio recorded the double with a leaping try on the left edge. The Knights extend their lead, 28-10.
With five and a half minutes to go, the referee pulled back a try by Parramatta’s Manu Ma’u after a knock on by Mitchell Moses and then Lamb showed his kicking prowess with a field goal 20-metres out to seal a 29-10 victory and three wins on the trot.
Newcastle Knights 29 (T: Sio 2, Barnett, Fitzgibbon, Lamb, G: Hodkinson 4/5, FG: Lamb)
Parramatta Eels 10 (T: Jennings, Smith, G: Moses 1/2)