The Jersey Flegg Knights have maintained touch with the competition’s top four, thrashing the North Sydney Bears 24-10 at McDonald Jones Stadium.
Returning centre Bradman Best was instrumental in the win, crossing for three tries in a rampaging performance.
The 6th placed Knights went into the game heavy favourites, however it was the 12th placed Bears who came out firing in the first half.
Following a period spent camped in the Newcastle red zone, the Bears were rewarded with points in the 14th minute when winger Ali Saad finished a slick attacking move to cross in the corner and make it 4-0.
A tough sideline conversion attempt from halfback Connor Garrety was waved away, with the ball striking the upright.
Attempting to put the tough start behind them, the Knights began to claw their way back into the contest, and chinks in the Bears defensive line began to show.
It wasn’t long before the Knights drew level, with returning centre Best storming over in the left hand corner off the back of some good lead up play.
Cameron Davies failed to add the extras.
The first half remained a tight contest, with ill-discipline and errors seeing the Knights become their own worst enemies, however their defensive line held firm and saw them enter the sheds at 4-4.
A clever short kick off to start the second half saw the Knights start the second half on the attack, and points soon followed when Isaac Lee crashed over 2 minutes after the interval.
Best made it a double soon after, running a perfect line to cross in the 45th minute.
Davies turned the four points into six with his first successful conversion of the day to extend the difference to 10 points.
The Knights continued their second half dominance with a try to Elijah Rasiga, who picked up an attempted charge down and beat three Bears defenders to score a powerful try next to the posts to make the score 20-4.
Just five minutes later Best had his hat-trick, crossing in the left hand corner to extend the advantage to 20.
It was a well deserved three tries for Best, who was outstanding in his return from a long lay-off with an ankle injury.
The Bears managed to strike back for a consolation try in the game’s closing stages, with Connor Garrety crashing over from short range.