Finals hopes are still alive for the NYC Newcastle Knights after they edged out the Canberra Raiders 21-20 at GIO Stadium on Friday afternoon.
I wasn't a great start for the visitors as they conceded two tries before getting on the board, but determination saw the Knights grind their way back to lock up the scoreline before a last-minute field goal sealed the win.
Seven minutes in, the Raiders’ Harry Van Dartel snatched a high ball in the air to come down and plant it over the goal line. Andre Niko converted for the home side to lead, 6-0.
Minutes later the Raiders scored again, this time through Jacob Field on the right side. Canberra led 12-0.
In the 23rd minute, Knights centre Heath Gibbs crashed through on the right side for their first. Kurtis Dark booted the conversion for the visitors to trail 12-6.
Almost another for Canberra near the ten minute mark but Niko dropped a high ball a metre short from the line before teammate Mikaele Ravalawa was able to break through defence to cross over with three minutes to go before the break.
Raiders led 16-6 at halftime.
In the second half, Gibbs recorded the double in the 47th minute before the Knights went out wide, as Mitch Andrews crossed over on the left edge. The score line was locked up at 16-all.
In the 57th minute, an awkward bounce gifted Raiders centre Sebastian Kris the ball before he rolled around defence to score the try. Canberra led 20-16.
The Knights once again levelled the scores 20-all in the 74th minute with an out-stretched Kainoa Gudgeon planting the ball over the line. The Knights had the chance to take the lead but the conversion was unsuccessful.
In the final minutes, Jack Johns booted the field goal from 20 metres out to take the lead and the win by one point, 21-20.
Newcastle Knights 21 (T: Gibbs 2, Andrews, Gudgeon, G: Dark 2/4, FG: Johns)
Canberra Raiders 20 (T: Van Dartel, Field, Ravalawa, Kris, G: Niko 2/4)
1. Matt Cooper, 2. Mitch Andrews, 3. Cory Denniss, 4. Heath Gibbs, 5. Kainoa Gudgeon, 6. Jack Johns, 7. Hayden Loughrey, 8. Eddy Tuilotolava, 9. Nash Birch, 10. Matt Croker, 11. Brodie Jones, 12. Kurtis Dark, 13. Zac Hosking. Interchange: 14. Luke Huth, 15. Henry Penn, 17. Cameron King. 18. Viko Puliuvea.
1.Paul Roache, 2. Harry Van Dartel, 3. Sebastian Kris, 4. Mikaele Ravalawa, 5. Andre Niko, 6. Derek Hay, 22. Timoci Vatubuli, 8. Emre Guler, 9. Lachlan Cooper, 10. Fabien Paletua-Kiri, 11. Daniel Kerr, 12. Jacob Field, 15. Hudson Young. Interchange. 13. Kye Madden, 14. Sato Ketia-Opo, 16. Zac Masters, 20. Kalani Going.