8 Mar 2015

Warriors held scoreless in second spell as Knights romp home

9:46 am on 8 March 2015

The Warriors lost their opening game of the National Rugby League season for a sixth year in a row, the Knights winning 24-14 in Newcastle - despite the Warriors leading 14-6 at half-time.

The Warriors leave the field dejected in Newcastle

The Warriors leave the field dejected in Newcastle Photo: Photosport

Dane Gagai inspired the Knights to their gutsy come-from-behind win in their NRL season opener at Hunter Stadium.

After scoring Newcastle's first two tries, Gagai took an all-important intercept as the Knights scored the final three tries to run over the top of the Warriors in front of 16,146 fans.

Both sides lost their fullbacks before kick-off with Knights veteran Kurt Gidley and the Warriors' Sam Tomkins both ruled out due to hamstring injuries.

The Warriors went in front thanks to an eight-point try to Thomas Leuluai, the Kiwis hooker heading up the tunnel to receive treatment to a cut to his head after copping a knee from Roberts while scoring.

Shaun Johnson added the extras before slotting the penalty conversion from in front while Roberts was put on report.

The Warriors went ahead 14-6 when recruit Ryan Hoffman crossed on the stroke of half-time, but then the visitors were held scoreless - even though the Knights went down a man in the 51st minute when David Fa'alogo was sin-binned for a professional foul - but instead of stopping Newcastle in their tracks, it seemed to spur them on.

Gagai bulldozed his way over while Fa'alogo was still in the sheds to reduce the margin to two, then the Knights hit the front with 14 minutes on the clock when Tyler Randell burrowed his way over after a Bodene Thompson penalty gifted Newcastle an easy passage into the Warriors' end.

The Knights then sealed the victory via Robbie Rochow in the 75th minute.

Also on Saturday night, the Sydney Roosters thrashed North Queensland 28-4 in Townsville, and Wests Tigers edged the Titans 19-18 at Gold Coast.