The nib Newcastle Knights were defeated 28-26 by the Wests Tigers at McDonald Jones Stadium on Friday.
Starting fast and with plenty of enthusiasm in Beanie for Brain Cancer Round, Jesse Ramien had some nice touches early.
It was only fitting the centre opened the scoring.
Having forced Tiger Paul Momirovski back towards his in-goal, the winger lost the ball struggling to get free and gifted Ramien the easiest of tries.
Leading 6-0 after four minutes, a knock-on from Momirovski 20 metres from his line gifted the Knights possession and Kalyn Ponga did the rest with a magic step.
The fullback dazzled three defenders with his footwork before securing the try.
He converted his try to extend the lead 12-0 after nine minutes.
But the Tigers hit back through Corey Thompson when a hard-running Luke Garner offloaded to his fullback.
With the Knights up by six, a Benji Marshall knock-on 12 metres from his line gifted the Knights possession with 10 minutes remaining in the first half and the home team appeared to have taken advantage.
Tim Glasby ran a beautiful line off Mitchell Pearce to crash over but lost the ball attempting to make the grounding.
The missed opportunity hurt with Luke Brooks setting up Thompson four minutes from halftime.
With momentum of the side of the visitors, a Marshall try on the stroke of halftime saw the Knights down by six at the break.
Needing a fast start to the second half, Connor Watson zipped down the short side for Hymel Hunt to crash over.
Unfortunately, Ponga couldn’t add the extras and the score remained 18-16.
In Robbie Farah’s 300th NRL game, the Tigers veteran ensured the Knights didn’t get too ahead of themselves, catching Herman Ese’ese napping and diving over beside the post.
Down 24-16, Pearce stepped up, sliding a grubber through the line for Tautau Moga to reduce the margin.
Ponga’s conversion made it a two-point ball game.
The joy was short lived with Momirovski scoring out wide for the Tigers.
A missed conversion meant it was a six-point game.
With just over 10 minutes remaining on the clock, Jesse Ramien darted wide, breaking through the line. The cover defence wasn't enough, and Ramien flicked the ball out for Shaun Kenny-Dowall to score in the corner. Ponga's conversion was waved away, and the Tigers remained in front by two.
With two minutes remaining on the clock, Kalyn Ponga was sinbinned for a push on Chee Kam, who left the field on a stretcher.
With 12 men on the field, the Knights fought hard until death and deflected each Tigers attempt to break their line. The Wests Tigers won by two points, and collected the chocolates at Beanie for Brain Cancer Stadium.