Sydney Roosters centre Latrell Mitchell

The Newcastle Knights almost did it but fell agonisingly short as the Sydney Roosters won 18-16 on the back of a Blake Ferguson double.

With all but Boyd Cordner backing up from Origin, their quartet performed strongly and showed no ill-effect from the Wednesday encounter.

It was Latrell Mitchell who broke the game open, breaking down the left before finding Luke Keary inside to score.

The Knights would hit back, however, as a hard-running Sione Mata’utia produced a great solo effort to score.

The Knights then hit the lead after a Kalyn Ponga penalty goal and good defence maintained their lead moving forward.

There was a downside for the Knights in the first-half with veteran utility Jamie Buhrer suffering a suspected ACL injury.

The Roosters then took their chance when it mattered and Ferguson took a pass from Keary to get his first.

Ferguson was at the thick of it again, confusing everyone and going himself down the shortside to nab a second try.

A further penalty goal to Ponga made the score 16-10, before the Knights sustained pressure saw Roosters prop Dylan Napa sin-binned.

Despite being a man down, the Roosters defence held firm as they took the lead out to eight points with a penalty goal of their own.

The Knights dug deep, however, and Mata’utia turned provider this time as he found Ponga for a late try.

Roosters coach Trent Robinson praised his side for the way they responded after Napa was sin-binned.

“There is two reactions when that [sin bin] happens – there’s either ‘poor me’, or ‘let’s do something about it’,” Robinson said.

“You can see that the boys worked really hard, they had a great defensive set – they made some really good tackles and our attacking game on the back of that was strong.

“We practice that defending for fitness and attitude, as it is a good way to practice defending a man down.”

Despite the injury sustained by Buhrer, Knights coach Nathan Brown believes the veteran can bounce back.

“Obviously he is getting into the latter part of his career, so he is not a young bloke – but he’ll be right and bounce back in rehab.

“I’m sure he will get back on the field next year and play some good footy – he has seemed to get over it every other time, so I am sure he’ll bounce back again.”

Although they lost, competing is the key and Brown praised his side for going toe-to-toe with an all-star team.

“The key thing was our effort tonight and we competed hard against a side that has a roster with very talented players in it,” Brown said.

Player of the Game:

3. Latrell Mitchell

2. Blake Ferguson

  1. Kalyn Ponga

By ricky

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