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An injury ravished Newcastle Knights side has beaten the New Zealand Warriors 34-20 at Ericsson Stadium.
It was a strong start for the Warriors with an early try to Justin Murphy. Minutes later with all the momentum on their side, they chose to take a shot at goal instead of pushing ahead for a try, a decision they will probably rue in hindsight.
The Warriors cautiousness came back to bite them quickly as the Knights pumped on 16 points before through tries to Craig Hall, Kurt Gidley and the home town kid George Carmont.
With seconds remaining in the first half Brent Webb was sent to the sin bin for a professional found and Kurt Gidley kicked a penalty goal to give the Knights a commanding 18-8 half time lead.
The Warriors looked a different side in the second half after an earful from coach Daniel Anderson. With just minutes remaining they had closed to within four points and were hot on attack.
It took an intercept try from Daniel Abraham and a 60 metre effort from Tahu to finally give the Knights a well deserved upset win.
Scorers: WARRIORS Tries: Murphy, Seu Seu, Martin Goals: Faumuina 4/4 KNIGHTS Tries: K.Gidley 2, Hall, Carmont, Abraham, Tahu Goals: Abraham 2/3, K.Gidley 2/3
By the clock: 0 min: Kick-off!
5th min: NEWS - A solid start from both sides. Newcastle have made a late change to their side with Matt Parsons out and Fitzgerald coming on to the bench to replace him.
8th min: TRY - Warriors. The Warriors shifted the ball out left with some big cut out passes which eventually found Tony Martin who bet his man on the outside, drew in the fullback and put Justin Murphy over for a try. Faumuina hits the posts but converts the try - Warriors 6-0.
11th min: PENALTY GOAL - Warriors. A 40/20 from Stacey Jones put the Warriors in Newcastle territory. From the next set the Warriors were awarded a penalty and Faumuina slotted the two points on offer - Warriors 8-0.
14th min: NEWS - The Warriors have been denied a try by the video referee. Richard Villiasanti tried to dive over from dummy half but lost the ball giving Newcastle the loose head and feed to the scrum on their 10 metre line.
19th min: TRY - Knights. Newcastle threw the ball out wide with Hall eventually running on to a dodgy pass that bounced and looked to have been forward. Abraham fails to convert - Warriors 8-4.
24th min: NEWS - Newcastle are starting to build up some pressure, first with the try to Hall and now with repeat sets.
27th min: TRY - Knights. After repeat sets Daniel Abraham ran through the line and got the ball away for the home town boy George Carmont to score. Abraham puts Newcastle in the lead - Knights 10-8.
32nd min: NEWS - Both sides are starting to get adventurous with the football which could be a dangerous move in the greasy conditions.
36th min: TRY - Knights. Kurt Gidley showed all his skills in a brilliant individual try. With a step, turn of pace and plenty of strength the Knights young halfback forced his way over to extend Newcastle?s lead. Kurt Gidley converts - Knights 16/8.
40th min: SIN BIN - Brent Webb (Warriors) has been sent to the sin bin for a professional foul in the play the ball area.
40th min: PENALTY GOAL - Brent Webb?s foul gave the Knights a penalty right out in front on the stroke of half time and Kurt Gidley slotted the two points - Knights 18-8.
40th min: HALF TIME - After a strong start from the Warriors, Newcastle have shown plenty of heart and skill to turn an 8 point deficit into a 10 point lead. Half time score - Knights 16 Warriors 8.
41st min: The second half is underway!
44th min: NEWS - The Warriors have failed to take advantage of 3 sets on the Newcastle line in the opening minutes of this second half.
48th min: NEWS - The Warriors have been guilty of pushing a few passes which is pushing up their error rate.
49th min: NEWS - Brent Webb is back on the field from the sin bin.
51st min: TRY - Warriors. Richard Villasanti lost the ball in a tackle and Jerry Seu Seu picked up the ball to score a very easy try under the posts. Faumuina converts - Knights 18-14.
55th min: NEWS - The tempo of this match has increased considerably as the Warriors now have a real sniff of victory.
60th min: NEWS - The Warriors are shooting themselves in the foot with poor execution, they have now thrown the ball away on the first tackle twice in a row.
65th min: NEWS - Newcastle have started to slow the Warriors momentum with repeat sets.
67th min: TRY - Knights. Kurt Gidley had lady luck on his size as his kick bounced off a Warriors player allowing him to easily dive on the ball and score. Kurt Gidley converts - Knights 24-14.
70th min: TRY - Warriors. Stacey Jones put in a kick towards the posts and Tony Martin running a great angle picked it up to score. Faumuina converts - Knights 24-20.
75th min: NEWS - The Warriors are coming home strong with a repeat set on Newcastle's line.
79th min: TRY - Knights. Daniel Abraham has pulled off the play of the game to win the game for Newcastle. The Knights were struggling defending on their own line when Abraham intercepted a Stacey Jones pass out sprinting Clinton Toopi to score in the corner. Kurt Gidley fails to convert - Knights 28-20.
80th min: TRY - Knights. Out of desperation the Warriors put in a short kick off. Tahu contested for the ball and ran 60 metres to put the icing on the cake for the Knights. Abraham converts - Knights 34-20.
80th min: FULL TIME - The Warriors had their moments in the second half but the Knights held strong and in the last couple of minutes put the game beyond reach. Full time score - Knights 34 Warriors 20.
----------------------------------------- Leagueunlimited.com players of the match: 3 - K Gidley (Knights) 2 - J Perry (Knights) 1 - A Woolnough (Knights) -----------------------------------------