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Knights grind out tough win to make it three straight

FINAL SCORE: Knights 12-0 Cowboys

Welcome to our official Game-Day Blog ahead of Sunday's clash against North Queensland at McDonald Jones Stadium.

Keep it glued here from start to finish on Game-Day, with live scores, blow by blow updates, late mail and behind the scenes news, photos and videos.

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INJURY UPDATE | According to Channel Nine's commentary team, Blake Green is looking at a possible ACL injury. Confirmation to follow shortly.

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Sunday 7:00pm: That'll just about do us for another week here at newcastleknights.com.au! A gutsy win, and one we'll be quick to move on from next week. See you then!

PRESSER | The boss has his say following a gutsy win over the Cowboys, and provides an update on Blake Green.

AOB: Injury toll, No.6 replacement, work ethic

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STATS | How good were these two today? Click here for all the stats that mattered.

MATCH HIGHLIGHTS | Re-live all the moments that mattered in today's win!

Highlights: Knights crush Cows in midfield slog

FANTASY | Mitch Barnett has killed it in NRL Fantasy. Click here to see the scores!

GALLERY | It may not have been a pretty win, but these shots sure are good to look at! View the gallery below or click here if you're on the app!

FULL-TIME | It wasn't pretty, but the high-vis hoodoo is over!

80' | KP is waved away. Less than a minute to go!

78' | AAAAAND THAT'LL DO IT! Enari Tuala crosses for his eighth try of the season and seals the two points for the Knights! Knights 12-0 Cowboys

77' | The Knights receive a penalty after an early Cowboys kick goes astray.

75' | A high tackle on Kalyn Ponga sees a bruh-haha break out. No fisticuffs though so a penalty will be all she wrote.

75' | The Cowboys make an error on the last. The game is almost all over now.

73' | The Knights stoically defend their line and end up back with the footy! Victory is within smelling distance now.

72' | The Cowboys get a good result from a nothing kick, with Ponga touching a kick over the dead ball line. Knights drop out coming.

70' | A massive shoutout to 5,304 fans here at McDonald Jones tonight. Making some massive noise for our boys! Knights with the footy on the halfway line.

68' | MITCH BARNETT STORMS THROUGH! He's brought down five metres about but spills the ball! Crazy scenes here.

67' | David Klemmer re-enters play as the arm-wrestle takes hold again.

65' | Big metres from the Knights after points. Cowboys with it 30m out from their own line.

63' | Ponga makes no mistake this time. Knights 8-0 Cowboys.

62' | The Knights will likely take the two points, with the penalty right in front of the sticks.

62' | AIDAN GUERRA IS HELD UP OVER THE LINE! We're off to the bunker, with the Cowboys appearing to be offside.

61' | A Pearce grubber forces another line drop out.

60' | The Knights are beginning to win the arm wrestle and are now on the attack.

59' | The set ends with a poor last tackle option. Cowboys with the footy.

57' | It's no try. He's still on the nudie, however the Cowboys were never onside. Penalty Knights.

57' | FIZTY'S OVER! But the Bunker will again intervene with a no try call sent up.

57' | The Cowboys kick the ball dead after a nothing set, and the Knights march it back downfield.

55' | Mitch Dunn re-enters the fray as the Cowboys march down field off the back of a penalty. After what we've seen this afternoon, anything could happen here.

55' | In other news, Jason Taumalolo has come from the field with an injury.

54' | The call is confirmed as no try.

54' | Herman Ese'ese crosses, but we're off to the bunker with a no try call.

54' | A Cowboys error invites more Knights pressure. Big chance here.

53' | The Knights muscle up in defence after trapping the Cowboys in their red zone.

51' | Hymel Hunt gets away with one after allowing a bomb to bounce. The game has otherwise settled back into an arm wrestle akin to the first half. Next points are absolutely crucial.

50' | Pearce re-enters the fray as the Cowboys bring the ball out of trouble. Frantic opening to the second stanza here.

49' | Gehamat Shibasaki knocks on in the first tackle. Cowboys off the hook.

48' | GEEEEEEZ! KLEM KICKS FOR HIMSELF, AND FORCES AN ERROR! Incredible stuff 

46' | Ponga sprays the penalty goal in identical fashion to Feldt earlier. Line drop out Cowboys.

45' | WOWWWW! Kalyn Ponga has taken an intercept and gone the length, and Mitch Dunn has been SIN BINNED for a professional foul after tackling him! It's 12 on 12, with KP attempting a penalty goal. What a passage of play!

45' | The challenge is unsuccessful. Cowboys ball, with the scrum packing ten metres out in the centre of the field.

45' | A repeat set here from the Cowboys, with Phoenix spilling an attempted intercept. A Captain's Challenge has been called.

43' | The Cowboys have found touch from the drop out. Not good.

43' | A good result for the Knights, with Kurt Mann forcing a drop out.

41' | An awful start for the Cowboys with an unforced error in the opening set! Massive chance here for the Knights.

40' | We're back underway. Lesssss go! Knights 6-0 Cowboys

HALF-TIME | Well, that was a roller coaster 40 minutes at McDonald Jones. The boys haven't looked on song at all, and Blake Green has disappeared up the tunnel with a knee injury. Mitch Pearce will spend the first ten minutes of the second stanza on the sideline after being sin binned in the closing stages of the half. However, we still lead and we have this stunner from Hymel Hunt to thank for it!

Ponga puts Hunt in for the opener

HALF-TIME | We're locked in an arm wrestle at McDonald Jones Stadium!

40' | He's missed it!! Kyle Feltd sprays a penalty goal from next to the posts.

40' | Mitchell Pearce has been SIN BINNED for back to back penalties. That one's a coach killer right on half-time. Penalty goal coming for the Cowboys.

39' | The Cowboys get the ball back off their own drop out, with Hamiso running 30m to get them on the front foot.

38' | A great result after a poor set, with Scott Drinkwater spilling a bomb over the dead ball line. Cowboys line drop out coming.

37' | Both sides are going set for set in a massive midfield slog.

36' | The game remains a massive arm wrestle. Meanwhile, Starford To'a has come from the field for a HIA.

34' | The Cows fail to launch any kind of threatening attack, and the Knights receive a handover.

32' | The Cowboys bomb a try scoring opportunity! Tom Opacic spills the ball with the Hammer wide open on the touchline. Cowboys will however get another set after Shibasaki was ruled to have knocked on first.

31' | A solid set after points, with the Knights now applying plenty of pressure on the Cowboys' pack.

30' | Ponga converts the penalty from in front. Knights 6-0 Cowboys

30' | A penalty for ruck interference sees the Knights elect to take the two points.

28' | The Cowboys appear to be using a similar tactic to our Round 7 clash, with Morgan electing to kick for touch on the last tackle.

27' | A similar scramble between the Cowboys back three almost results in a Knights try. A turnover is instead forced. Cowboys with the footy now.

26' | A comedy of errors at the back results in a Knights turn over. Very lucky result.

25' | Another Knights kick goes dead. Cowboys attacking now.

23' | Michael Morgan in pinged for a forward pass. Knights with a scrum feed 30m out from their own line.

22' | Star To'a come SO CLOSE! However, it wasn't to be. Another 20m restart and seven tackle set for the Cowboys.

21' | Another penalty for the Knights. We must be entering sin-bin territory now.

21' | PENALTY. Ben Hampton is caught offside. It hasn't been a terrific few minutes for the young five-eighth.

20' | Ding Ding! It's six more tackles for the Knights.

19' | In some much needed good luck, Ben Hampton has kicked out on the full. Knights on the attack.

18' | This looks awful. Green has left the field and seems to be in a world of pain. Phoenix Crossland has entered the fray at hooker while Kurt Mann slots back into the No.6 role.

18' | Uh oh. Blake Green has gone down and it doesn't look good. Commentators are calling a potential knee injury.

17' | Kalyn Ponga's conversion is waved away. Knights 4-0 Cowboys.

15' | Hymel strolls over following a slick backline move involving Blake Green and Kalyn Ponga to draw first blood. Lovely stuff indeed.

15' | HYMEL HUNT SCORES!!!!!! HOW GOOD IS THAT! YEWWW KNIGHTS 4-0 COWBOYS

14' | Hunt takes a bomb in his own in-goal and earns a seven tackle set.

13' | Another six again call for the Cowboys. 

12' | A big set from the Knights pack (with some KP magic sprinkled in between) sees the Knights go 90 metres and put the Cows back under the pump.

11' | The game has developed into a real arm wrestle in the opening stages. Both packs are slugging it out for early field position.

10' | The Cowboys turn the ball over 10m out from the Knights line.

9' | The Knights compound the error with a set restart. Cowboys on the attack.

8' | Probably the Knights worst set of the game so far, with the team throwing little at the visitors. A poor last tackle option lets the Cowboys off the hook.

7' | 40-20!!!! Mitchell Pearce with the clutch play to put the Knights deep on the attack!

6' | The Cows take full advantage of the seven tackle set, trapping Kalyn Ponga deep in his own corner. Forward pack muscling up now to get the Knights out of trouble.

5' | A TRY BOMBED! Fitzy comes oh-so-close to getting off the nudie, however spills the ball over the line! 20m restart and seven tackle set for the Cows.

3' | A terrific set from the Knights ends with Mitchell Pearce forcing a goal line drop out. Knights looking good early.

2' | PENALTY KNIGHTS - The Cowboys are caught offside. Early chance to build some pressure.

2' | The Cowboys respond in kind, with Hymel Hunt doing incredibly well to take a bomb.

1' | Terrific opening set from the Knights forward pack, rolling 60 metres downfield. A poor kick chase allows Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow to make good metres on the kick return.

0' | We're underway here at McDonald Jones Stadium! Knights 0-0 Cowboys

Sunday 3:05pm: LATE MAIL | Adam O’Brien has confirmed the team list for this afternoon’s game, and we are 1-17 with no changes made to the team named on Tuesday afternoon.

KNIGHTS: 1. Kalyn Ponga, 2. Starford To'a, 3. Enari Tuala, 4. Gehamat Shibasaki, 5. Hymel Hunt, 6. Blake Green, 7. Mitchell Pearce (c), 8. David Klemmer, 9. Kurt Mann, 10. Jacob Saifiti, 11. Lachlan Fitzgibbon, 12. Aidan Guerra, 13. Mitch Barnett. Interchange: 14. Phoenix Crossland, 15. Herman Ese'ese, 16. Josh King, 17. Pasami Saulo

COWBOYS: 1. Scott Drinkwater, 2. Kyle Feldt, 3. Tom Opacic, 22. Justin O'Neill, 5. Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow, 6. Ben Hampton, 7. Michael Morgan, 8. Josh McGuire, 14. Reuben Cotter, 10. Jordan McLean, 11. Mitch Dunn, 12. Coen Hess, 13. Jason Taumalolo (c). Interchange: 15. John Asiata, 17. Francis Molo, 20. Corey Jensen, 21. Jake Granville.

Sunday 2:20pm: We've arrived at McDonald Jones Stadium.

Sunday 1:20pm: Day. For. It. Late Mail coming at 3:05pm!

GAME-DAY | Let's get it on!

SQUAD UPDATE: Coach Adam O'Brien has omitted two players from his team to take on North Queensland on Sunday.

Chris Randall and Jirah Momoisea leave the bench with the final make-up of the team to be announce one hour before kick-off. 

Newcastle: 1. Kalyn Ponga, 2. Starford To'a, 3. Enari Tuala, 4. Gehamat Shibasaki, 5. Hymel Hunt, 6. Blake Green, 7. Mitchell Pearce (c), 8. David Klemmer, 9. Kurt Mann, 10. Jacob Saifiti, 11. Lachlan Fitzgibbon, 12. Aidan Guerra, 13. Mitch Barnett. Interchange: 14. Phoenix Crossland, 15. Herman Ese'ese, 16. Josh King, 17. Pasami Saulo, 18. Brodie Jones, 19. Tex Hoy

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Friday 12pm: Adam O'Brien and Josh Hannay named their 21-man squads on Tuesday afternoon, and they will line up like this come Sunday:

Newcastle: 1. Kalyn Ponga, 2. Starford To'a, 3. Enari Tuala, 4. Gehamat Shibasaki, 5. Hymel Hunt, 6. Blake Green, 7. Mitchell Pearce (c), 8. David Klemmer, 9. Kurt Mann, 10. Jacob Saifiti, 11. Lachlan Fitzgibbon, 12. Aidan Guerra, 13. Mitch Barnett. Interchange: 14. Phoenix Crossland, 15. Herman Ese'ese, 16. Josh King, 17. Pasami Saulo, 18. Brodie Jones, 19. Tex Hoy, 20. Chris Randall, 21. Jirah Momoisea

North Queensland: 1. Scott Drinkwater, 2. Kyle Feldt, 3. Tom Opacic, 4. Connelly Lemuelu, 5. Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow, 6. Ben Hampton, 7. Michael Morgan, 8. Josh McGuire, 9. Reece Robson, 10. Jordan McLean, 11. Mitch Dunn, 12. Coen Hess, 13. Jason Taumalolo (c). Interchange: 14. Reuben Cotter, 15. John Asiata, 16. Emry Pere, 17. Francis Molo, 18. Shane Wright, 19. Jake Clifford, 20. Corey Jensen, 21. Justin O'Neill.