Kurt Gidley has led the Newcastle Knights back from the brink to claim a 31-18 victory over the Cronulla Sharks in front of a good crowd at Remondis Stadium.
The Cronulla Sharks appeared to do no wrong in the first half as they jumped to an 18-0 lead as the Knights struggled to click into gear.
Jeff Robson was instrumental in his role as they raided the Knights line. Robson fell on an offload from Michael Gordon to post the first try of the match after three minutes.
Michael Gordon rewarded for his efforts mid-way through the first half as he broke free to score via a Pat Politoni short pass. Just minutes later Cronulla posted their third four-pointer with a team try concluding with Sosaia Feki diving over in the eastern corner. After half an hour, Cronulla in front 18-0, but that would be their last points of the game.
In the shadows of half time, Willie Mason surged through the Sharks defence after taking a bullet pass from Tyrone Roberts. Cronulla took a 18-6 lead into the break as Jeff Robson's field goal was well wide of the posts on the siren.
Newcastle would have received a mighty spray from 700 game coach, Wayne Bennett as their second half performance reflected nothing of the first. Kurt Gidley provided foundations for his team to fight back into the match.
The Knights posted 25 unanswered second half points which started with Akuila Uate's try courtesy of Jarrod Mullen's boot. Gidley followed this up in the 56th minute as Roberts linked with his halves pairing to split the Sharks line. Approaching the three-quarter mark and the game was locked at 18-all.
Beau Scott and Jarrod Mullen finished off the try scoring for the visitors as the Sharks defence lacked commitment at the back end of the match. Newcastle jumped to a 30-18 lead in the final 10 minutes.
Man of the match, Kurt Gidley secured the precious Telstra Premiership points with a field goal in the last minute of play. Newcastle showing incredible fighting spiriting to capture the victory.
It's a special round next week as the NRL celebrates #RiseForAlex Round with $1 from each attendee donated to support Alex McKinnon on his road to recovery. The Knights have a big clash against the Gold Coast at Hunter Stadium as they hope to get their season back on track. Meanwhile the Sharks have a short turnaround in preparation for the Cowboys on Friday Night.