Newcastle Knights continued their finals charge with a 20-28 success against Brisbane Broncos tonight at Suncorp Stadium.
The Knights scored four tries either side of the half-time break to streak away to an eight-point win after a tight first half to keep their charge towards the top eight alive as we head into the final month of the NRL competition.
Back-to-back wins have put the Knights firmly into top eight contention with the return of talisman halfback Mitch Pearce directed them around the park, alongside the good work from halves partner Jake Clifford have steadied the ship after their topsy turvey season.
Backing up after four days, the first half was a tight tussle between two sides with differing motivation. Brisbane Broncos were the first on the scoreboard when Tesi Niu sliced through before Knights responded through Jake Clifford. Brisbane edged ahead through Corey Oates to lead 8-6 to shock the finals chasing side.
From there, Newcastle took charge of the contest. Mitch Pearce and Lachlan Fitzgibbon scored either side of half-time to stretch their advantage to ten points as back-to-back wins beckoned for the side. They added further points through Mitch Barnett and Enari Tuala to make it 28-8.
Brisbane showed some fight in the final 15 minutes of the contest with a pair of tries which reduced the margin to eight. Youngster Xavier Willison dived onto a loose ball for his first NRL four-pointer before a late Herbie Farnworth try gave them so hope.
It was another performance with some highlights for the Broncos but they weren't able to put together solid performances to challenge a Knights side which was tired from a game on Sunday afternoon. Coach Kevin Walters also continued to chop and change his halves with Brodie Croft hooked early in the second half.
For the Knights, it was the start of their run home with the toughest fixture left against seventh placed Gold Coast Titans with another game against the Broncos to come in the final round but the novocatrians are primed for back-to-back finals appearances after some lean years.