Wayne Bennett’s men climb to fifth on the NRL ladder after hard-fought win.
Craig Gower enjoyed a perfect homecoming to the foot of the mountains with the veteran hooker instrumental in Newcastle’s 32-14 win over the Penrith Panthers.
The former Panthers icon set up his side’s excellent second half as he extended the Knights slim lead from half-time.
In front by just two points, Gower chased through on a Jarrod Mullen grubber and touched down just inside the dead-ball line, as Panthers fullback Matt Moylan willed it to go across.
From there Akuila Uate, who had not scored in six matches before his side’s clash with the Panthers, crossed for his second for the afternoon to give them a 12-point lead with 20 minutes remaining.
Kade Snowden put a cap on a fitting win for the Knights when he crashed over for his first try for the season.
However, the real talking point from the game was the video ref’s decision to award a try to Penrith Dean Whare to open the scoring in the game.
Despite his specular diving effort to get the ball down in the corner, the Penrith winger clearly touches outside the field of play before he gets the ball down.
Fans and commentators were shocked to see the green light shown, with the contentious call set to place more pressure on NRL referees boss Daniel Anderson.
Newcastle will be out to keep their hot streak going when they face the second-best side in the competition this season, the Sydney Roosters.
Penrith coach Ivan Cleary will hope his side can bounce back to form when they tackle the Cronulla Sharks on the road.