To kick off the Sunday Ticket, the Newcastle Knights took on the Wests Tigers at McDonald Jones Stadium.
The Knights were undefeated and coming off a 20-16 win over the Warriors. Meanwhile, the Tigers were yet to win and coming off a 40-6 loss to the Roosters.
Also, the game was the 300th NRL game for the Knights halfback, Mitchell Pearce.
At the beginning of the game, the Tigers had a ton of field position.
After repeat sets on the goal line, they would finally crack the defence.
On a spread to the left, Tommy Talau dummies and goes through himself to score first points. Adam Doueihi converted and the lead was 6-0 to the Tigers.
5 minutes later, the Knights would hit back.
On a spread to the right, Tex Hoy would dummy and slide through the defensive line for the Knights’ first points. Mitch Barnett missed the goal kick and the lead remained 6-4 to the Tigers.
A quarter into the game, the Tigers had the ball on the goal line again.
On the last tackle, Luke Brooks put up a cross-field kick. Adam Doueihi went in the air and came down with a brilliant take to score a try.
He converted his own try to make the lead 12-4.
5 minutes after, Enari Tuala put a grubber in on the last tackle which ricocheted back to Mitch Barnett.
Barnett crashed over and celebrated but a bunker referral revealed a knock-on over the goal line. The Tigers received a 20-metre restart and the score remained 12-4 to the Tigers.
However, fate always finds a way. Mitch Barnett would get the try he was denied 10 minutes later. Jayden Brailey faked to the right, went left and gave Mitch Barnett a crash ball to score.
He missed an extremely kickable conversion and the deficit was lowered to 12-8 going into the half time break.
5 minutes into the second half, the Tigers would be the first to score.
Luke Brooks threw a no-look short ball to put Stefano Utoikamanu through a hole. He ran 30 metres and beat the fullback to get the ball down.
Adam Doueihi kicked the goal to make the lead 18-8.
20 minutes later, an error at midfield from the Tigers gave great field position to the Knights.
Daniel Saifiti popped it on the inside for Connor Watson to go through a gaping hole.
He hit Mitchell Pearce supporting on the outside who scored in his 300th game. Tex Hoy landed the conversion and the deficit was lowered to 18-14.
10 minutes later, the Knights would finally hit the front.
Tex Hoy threw a dummy and poked his nose through.
He offloaded to Tyson Frizell who stepped and beat two defenders to score under the posts, Tex Hoy landed the goal and the Knights led 20-18.
With 6 minutes left in the game, the Knights made an error on their line, giving the Tigers a scrum, 2o metres out.
A simple spread to the right from the scrum allowed David Nofoaluma to dive and score in the corner. Adam Doueihi perfectly strikes the sideline conversion and the Tigers led 24-20.
That 24-20 lead held until full time.
The Tigers earned their first win of the season while errors plagued the Knights who lost their first game of the season.
Wests will attempt to make it two wins in a row as they host the undefeated Eels on Easter Monday.
Meanwhile, the Knights will want to get back into the winner’s circle as they host the Dragons on Easter Sunday.
NRL News Player of the Game
3. Daine Laurie (WST)
2. Connor Watson (NEW)
1. Tex Hoy (NEW)