The Cronulla Sharks have edged the Newcastle Knights by two points in a thrilling encounter at Hunter Stadium.
In an absorbing contest, a double to Jack Bird in the second half put the Sharks in front and in control.
But it was an exciting match that Newcastle, on their own turf, were unlucky to lose as they played some sparkling footy.
The Knights slotted two penalty goals early to take a 4-0 lead.
But it was the Sharks who got the first try, through Valentine Holmes in the 15th minute.
The ball spun wide, through the hands and Holmes touched down easily.
It was the Sharks first attacking opportunity and they didn’t waste it.
Cronulla took a 6-4 lead on 22 minutes with a penalty goal to Michael Gordon.
But six minutes later and the Knights breezed in front thanks to a bit of a brilliance from Dane Gagai.
He went straight through the line and grubbered to young Jake Mamo, who won the race to the ball to score.
Six minutes later and the Knights were in again.
Off a quick play the ball, the Knights shifted the ball wright, splitting the Sharks defence again.
Robbie Rochow went through the line and he offloaded to Beau Scott to cross.
The video referee checked it and gave the green light.
Kurt Gidley added the extras and the score became 16-6.
But the Sharks weren’t lieing down. They hit back right on the stroke of half-tine.
Luke Lewis put Jack Bird through off an inside pass and he scored a great try.
It was an important four-pointer and meant the visitors were just four points behind at the break.
The game continued to be a see-sawing affair and the Knights struck first just after half-time.
Four minutes in and Jake Mamo pulled something special out of the bag.
He kicked on a Gidley grubber and chased the ball, managing to acrobatically tap the ball back in for Carlos Tuimavave to score.
Surely one of the tries of the season.
On 52 minutes the Sharks pulled back into the contest thanks to Lewis.
It was a great team try, started 70 metres from the Knights’ try-line, and finished off by Lewis.
That took the score to 22-18, Newcastle just in front. But this didn’t last long as Ben Barba crossed two minutes later.
He was in after a wonderful no-look pass from Wade Graham. It was sensational stuff.
Cronulla were in charge and had a 24-22 lead. The Knights were on the backfoot.
The Sharks made them pay as Bird grubbered through to score himself.
It was his second try of the afternoon in a great performance from the young half.
The Knights were stunned and scrambled to get back into the match.
Newcastle started to exert some pressure and off a dropout, managed to score on 78 minutes.
Gildey drifted across the field and found Kade Snowden who barged through.
The try set up a tense finish as Gidley’s conversion meant it was 30-28.
But time wasn’t on the Knights’ side and there wouldn’t be a miraculous finish. Cronulla went home with the win.