The nib Newcastle Knights have narrowly gone down 24-20 to the Wests Tigers on Sunday.
A late David Nofoaluma try broke the hearts of Newcastle on Mitchell Pearce's 300th game.
A full house of 20,239 fans came together at McDonald Jones Stadium with Mitchell Pearce running out for his special milestone.
Pearce takes to the field for game 300
The Knights were on the back foot early and were forced to make 50 extra tackles in the opening 15 minutes.
It was the visitors who made the pressure count with Tommy Talau barging over in the ninth minute after a mountain of early Tigers possession.
The Knights welcomed some field position soon after and Tex Hoy capitalised going over for the red and blue on the 15th minute mark.
Mitch Barnett's conversion was waved away.
Knights find the line through Hoy
Five minutes later, Adam Douehi got on the end of a Luke Brooks kick to score next for the Tigers. Douehi converted to make it 12-4 to the away team.
Jayden Brailey tried to swing the momentum shortly after with an early kick and almost produced a 40/20 but it was saved miraculously by Tigers fullback Daine Laurie.
Mitch Barnett almost crashed over soon after for the Knights but was ruled to have lost the ball on put down.
Barnett wouldn't be denied in a later set making his way to the line courtesy of a Brailey short ball. Barnett missed his conversion to keep the scores at 12-8.
The Tigers took a 12-8 lead at half-time.
The second half got back underway and the Tigers were agin fast out of the blocks.
Stefano Utoikamanu strolled through a huge gap and ran thirty metres to score next to the posts to give the Tigers a 10 point lead.
The Tigers were completing highly and putting the Knights in the corner.
Tex Hoy produced a brilliant piece of play to get out of his own in goal and the Knights were back on the attack.
The Knights were needing a lift and up stepped milestone man, Mitchell Pearce.
Connor Watson went through a hole and went one-on-one with Laurie.
Watson draw-and-passed for the halfback and Pearce dove under the posts to the delight of the Newcastle crowd.
The 31-year-old rose to kiss the badge to get the Knights back into the ball game. From the resulting restart Adam Doeuhi kicked out on the full.
The Knights rode the momentum and soon after Tex Hoy made a break and found a charging Tyson Frizell and the off-season recruit scored under the posts to put the Knights into the lead.
Hoy added the extras to put the red and blue in the lead for the first time in the game.
With the score at 20-18, the match was headed for a grandstand finish with ten minutes to go.
A drop ball from Gehamat Shibasaki forced the Knights to defend their own goal line and David Nofoaluma made them pay.
The winger planted the ball in the corner with six minutes to play to put the Tigers back in front.
Douehi kicked the goal from the sideline to make it 24-20.
The Tigers would hold onto their lead and condemn the Knights to their first loss of the season.
The Wests Tigers claimed the Allan McMahon Shield with the victory.