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Bradman brilliance sees Knights edge Warriors

Two pieces of Bradman Best brilliance has seen the nib Newcastle Knights edge the Warriors 20-16 in a torrid contest at Central Coast Stadium.

As was predicted by many pundits pre-game, this was a battle between two incredible forward packs in front of 4,595 fans.

It was never going to be played any other way.

With wet weather forecast and a scattered shower before kick-off, the far-from-ideal conditions were of no concern to either side early in the contest.

Despite sending the kick-off out on the full, it was the Warriors who dominated the opening stages.

The Knights defence was severely tested as the Warriors camped them on their line, with the boys defending five sets in a row inside the first ten minutes.

The side held firm, with the bench leaping to their feet as David Fusitu'a was thrown over the sideline by Hymel Hunt and Enari Tuala.

A high completion rate got the Knights back in the contest, and they were rewarded with Jayden Brailey sneaking over from dummy-half to break the deadlock in the 18th minute.

In a stunning turn of events, it was the opposition hooker in Wayde Egan who found the Warriors' first nearly 15 minutes later, only to have the try controversially disallowed after the bunker intervened.

They didn't have to wait much longer, with Ben Murdoch-Masila charging over in the 32nd minute to level the scores.

The tryscorers were a true reflection of how the game was played - through the middle.

The forwards duked it out in the middle, with a Mitch Barnett penalty goal the only troubling the scorers received before the break.

It was always going to take a moment of brilliance to open the game up in the second half, and Bradman Best provided it with a classy flick pass, setting up Hymel Hunt who dove over in the corner.

As the dark sky over Central Coast Stadium turned a beautiful shade of red, the battle in the middle went to the next level.

Then the heavens opened.

The rain brought points for the Warriors almost immediately, with Adam Pompey crashing over the line to bring them back within striking distance.

They had the lead a few minutes later, with Roger Tuivasa-Sheck sending Ken Maumalo over in the corner, making it 16-14.

With it all to do, it was again a Bradman Best moment of brilliance which provided the match's headline moment.

The hulking centre burst through before brilliantly offloading to Hymel Hunt, who raced over for his second with just four minutes left on the clock.

The Knights held on in a frantic final three minutes, leaving them 2/2 to start the 2021 season.