FULL TIME - Knights back in the finals hunt with a 42-6 win over a disappointing Cowboys side.
Mason Lino takes on the line and threatens but drops the ball.
Penalty for the home side, 58 seconds to go. They will try for one final four-pointer. 40 out.
Knights with it back through Mitchell Pearce, just over one minute remaining.
Cowboys with a late chance to post a consolation try, inside the Knights 20 on the fifth.
Still perfect from the boot.
Mitchell Barnett with a late offload for Lino who bursts through to score.
Coen Hess with an error just short of halfway.
Kalyn Ponga with it back after taking the bomb as we enter the final ten minutes. Knights not making many metres in this set though. Inside their own 30 on the fourth. Mitchell Pearce clears it on the last for Scott Drinkwater who brings it up to the 30.
Mitchell Pearce drives it into touch. Cowboys to pack the scrum on their own 30.
Lino pushes it left and it swings back right and through the posts.
Kurt Mann to Mata'utia who goes straight through after two Cowboys collide in defence. Jordan Kahu and Coen Hess with a brutal head clash.
Jake Clifford with a great kick that looks certain to end in a dropout but Shaun Kenny-Dowall then bursts out of the tackle and into the clear before being dragged down just past halfway. Mitchell Pearce then earns a penalty soon after. Newcastle in the mood now.
Lino perfect from the boot.
Mitchell Pearce takes it to the line quickly and then slows down to put Barnett through.
Cowboys send it out on the full.
No mistake from right in front.
Pearce takes them on and scores next to the posts. That will be the game you'd think.
Tom Opacic knocks down a threatening pass from Kalyn Ponga. More pressure coming.
Tom Opacic with an error. That's not good for the Cowboys and Newcastle get it right back.
Mason Lino - it was looking an excellent kick but Scott Drinkwater shows great patience to watch it trickle dead.
Michael Morgan takes on the line and it takes four Knights defenders to take him down. Ball to Scott Drinkwater on the last but he doesn't strike it well. Knights with it right back.
Connor Watson hobbling off. Bad news for the Knights, he's been a great spark through the middle today.
Relieving penalty for the Cowboys and they are 30 out now.
Pearce to Ponga to Hunt and the Cowboys scramble well to shut it down. Handover.
Herman Ese'ese and Hymel Hunt with big runs to start this set for Newcastle. Cowboys knock down the Kalyn Ponga pass - Knights with a full set 40 out.
Try gone begging for the Cowboys. Michael Morgan's kick ricochets and Tom Opacic toes it to Kyle Feldt - it bounces on an awkward angle and Feldt drops it with the try line begging.
Connor Watson rushes a kick and finds touch 10 out from the Cowboys line.
Gavin Cooper comes down with the crossfield kick from Jake Clifford on the last but can't offload it. Turnover.
Mitchell Pearce with a looping pass over the top to Hymel Hunt who throws it back inside but Tom Opacic has it for the Cowboys. They have another chance here, just 30 out on the fourth.
Jake Granville - great option - he runs and then turns it back inside on the angle for Coen Hess who steams through. Cowboys 30 out. They go short side though and have no numbers. Knights have it back.
Big play from Mason Lino as he dives on a Michael Morgan grubber and the home side survive. Scott Drinkwater looking dangerous for the Cowboys though.
Mason Lino pinged for being offside. Penalty Cowboys.
Michael Morgan with a great grubber but the bounce is terrible for Scott Drinkwater who would have been certain to score otherwise. Dropout nonetheless.
Aidan Guerra with an early error and boy the Cowboys needed that.
HALF TIME - Kalyn Ponga threatening with every touch of the ball and after a fast start Newcastle score late to extend their lead to 12.
Lino brilliantly hooks it back in from the sideline.
Coen Hess drops it on the first play. Kalyn Ponga slices over off the scrum and they pay immediately.
That would have been massive right before half time. Kalyn Ponga with the step to beat Shane Wright, he is away and then finds Connor Watson. Mitchell Pearce inside but overruns it so Watson doesn't pass. Ponga again on the left edge, fires a ball to Tautau Moga who sprays it over the touchline.
Gavin Cooper with an error as he goes to ground in the tackle and the Knights survive.
Scott Drinkwater with a lovely grubber and Kalyn Ponga knocks it dead. Dropout.
Jacob Saifiti crashes over after Connor Watson shapes to go right before going back inside left. Mitchell Barnett stays in the line though and prevents Scott Bolton from getting to Saifiti. Penalty Cowboys.
Connor Watson almost catches the Cowboys out again and then earns a penalty. Knights 20 out and they will tap instead of going for the two.
Jake Granville darts out of dummy-half, goes down the right edge but the pass from Shane Wright to Tom Opacic is forward. Knights ball on their own 40.
Mitchell Pearce to the air and Scott Drinkwater has it for the Cowboys, with the game now a grinding affair after Newcastle shot out to a 12-0 lead.
Kahu puts it through.
Clifford takes advantage of a weight of possession as he takes on the line and scores. They had to go over there and reduce the deficit.
Mitchell Pearce knocks down the pass from Michael Morgan and the Cowboys get another full set to post their first try of the day.
Newcastle hand it right back to them with an error of their own. Cowboys 10 out.
Jordan McLean with a risky offload and Newcastle have it back through David Klemmer.
Gavin Cooper with a simple drop but gets a reprieve with a penalty awarded to North Queensland. Cowboys 30 out.
Daniel Saifiti with a great run, quick play the ball, it's given to Kalyn Ponga who is taken 40 out. They then drill it into touch. 10 out. Cowboys again made to work it out from deep inside their own half.
Scott Drinkwater onto a ricocheted kick on the last and toes it ahead but the Knights get it back.
Mitchell Pearce kicks into touch as the Knights calm things down after a fast start. Cowboys to work it out of their own half.
Jake Clifford to Coen Hess who is through a hole but he puts it down. Knights ball on their own 20.
Mitchell Pearce takes Tom Opacic high and the Cowboys get another full set.
Scott Drinkwater with a great kick and Mitchell Pearce is trapped in-goal. The Cowboys with their first chance of the afternoon.
Kalyn Ponga skips down the left edge and threatens to go through again but is taken well. Kyle Feldt does well to take the bomb on the last and now the Cowboys earn a much-deserved penalty. The Knights did shoot out against the Tigers recently only to fall away late so they'll need to be careful.
Jake Clifford now finds touch 30 out from the Newcastle line.
The Cowboys survive after diving on Mitchell Pearce's kick on the last. Newcastle threatened during that set though, Kalyn Ponga and Lachlan Fitzgibbon again combining well on the left edge before Sione Mata'utia also almost found space on the other side.
Newcastle with another penalty and they will keep the pressure on. A win by 24 points or more will see them overtake Cronulla temporarily into ninth place.
Matt Scott passes it forward to John Asiata and the Knights get the ball right back on their own 40.
Chance again! Knights marching upfield with ease. Brilliant work on the right edge as space is created for Sione Mata'utia but he puts it down.
That's 12 already.
The Cowboys have not turned up. Pearce splits them right through the middle and runs away to score. This could be anything.
Lino makes it 6-0.
Really bad signs for the Cowboys early. Ponga steps back inside to score and that was too easy.
Kalyn Ponga takes it right up to the line and plays it short for Lachlan Fitzgibbon who is pulled up 20 out. Cowboys looking very vulnerable in defence.
Penalty Knights, they're 30 out with a big chance to strike. They look good early.
Mason Lino kicks on the last and Jordan Kahu is trapped close to the line. Cowboys to work it out of their own end.
Michael Morgan bombs on the last, from 40 out and Kalyn Ponga has it before taking the ball up to the 20. Knights looking better early, playing with more speed up front as they crash over halfway on the fourth.
Bombed. Connor Watson finds space right through the middle and shapes to pass but dummies and then throws it forward to Kalyn Ponga. Should've released it straight away.
Underway at Newcastle. Cowboys with first use of the ball.
Jordan McLean and Matt Scott with two runs each in that set. Cowboys inside their own 40 on the last as Michael Morgan finds Shaun Kenny-Dowall on the last. Knights first set starts on their own 30.
A great crowd here in the Hunter - surely that will help the home side get up. But the Cowboys still have a quality side. Kick-off in just over five minutes.
The Cowboys, sitting two points behind, will not make it and are without Jason Taumalolo.
With the Tigers, Titans and Panthers to come in the next three weeks, a win today will bring Newcastle right back into finals contention given Brisbane's tough run in the next fortnight.
Good afternoon and welcome to this afternoon's update of the clash between the Knights and Cowboys.
Referees & scorers:
Referees: Grant Atkins, Phil Henderson
Touch Judges: Mark Bohan, Clayton Sharpe
Video Referee: Jared Maxwell, Beau Scott
NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS (42)
Tries: Kalyn Ponga (2), Mason Lino, Mitchell Pearce (2), Mitchell Barnett, Sione Mata'utia
Conversions: Mason Lino (7/7)
NORTH QUEENSLAND COWBOYS (6)
Tries: Jake Clifford
Conversions: Jordan Kahu (1/1)