You have skipped the navigation, tab for page content
Clifford boots Knights back into top eight

A trio of Jake Clifford penalty goals have secured a crucial 16-14 victory for the nib Newcastle Knights over the Cronulla Sharks at Moreton Daily Stadium in Redcliffe.

Sporting the Voice for Mining jersey for the second time this season, the Knights fought hard in a gritty 80 minute performance.

With results falling in favour of both sides over the weekend, a top eight spot was guaranteed for the game's winner.

It was an error-riddled first 40 from both sides in what was the second game in a double header at the home of the Redcliffe Dolphins.

Things couldn't have gotten off to a better start for Newcastle, with Cronulla spilling the kick off and gifting the Knights an early opportunity.

They took full advantage, with Enari Tuala crossing inside two minutes for the fastest try of the NRL season so far.

15 seconds after snatching the kick off, the Knights have their first try

Jesse Ramien hit back to level the scores, before the defining moment of the first half took place.

Cronulla's Braden Hamlin-Uele was lucky not to be sin binned for a high shot on Connor Watson, which saw him leave the field 100th NRL game.

Watson passed his off-field HIA and returned later in the half.

Clifford nailed the conversion, however the Sharks continued to wrestle back the upper hand, and they had the lead through Ronaldo Mulitalo in the 25th minute.

It was hardly the most inspiring 40 minutes from both sides, with the Knights completing at 75% and enjoying more footy than the home side.

Despite this, it was Cronulla who went into half-time with a 12-8 lead.

The Knights needed some good fortune to turn things around, and it came through a stunning Tuala finish in the corner.

It was his eighth try of the campaign and second of the afternoon.

Tuala has the blades of grass on his side

Clifford pulled his conversion, setting up a tense final half hour with scores locked at 12-12.

A penalty goal put Cronulla back in control, but the boys in the orange kit refused to give in.

The Knights dominated field position for the next 10 minutes, but just couldn't find a way through the Cronulla defence.

It was no coincidence Newcastle's completion rate rocketed to 95% in the second stanza, allowing them to take control of the contest.

Clifford opted to level the scores at 14-a-piece after the Sharks were caught offside.

The No.6 was again called upon to slot the match winner after Ponga was ruled to have been tackled without the ball.

The Knights now sit in outright 7th on 22 points, with a clash with Canterbury on the Gold Coast awaiting them in six days time.

Daniel Saifiti will face a nervous wait after picking up a knee injury, while Mitch Barnett was placed on report for a high shot.