Newcastle Knights 36
Dane Gagai (2), Darius Boyd, Kurt Gidley, Joey Leilua, Tyrone Roberts Akuila Uate
Kurt Gidley 4 goals
North Queensland Cowboys
Robert Lui (2), Curtis Rona, Tariq Sims, Antonio Winterstein
Johnathan Thurston 4 goals
Newcastle Knights snapped their seven-game losing streak with a 36-28 victory over North Queensland Cowboys at Hunter Stadium.
Led by Kurt Gidley, who switched to the halves alongside Jarrod Mullen, and fullback Darius Boyd, the Knights recovered from a 6-0 deficit to take control of the game and run out comfortable winners.
Wayne Bennett’s side’s third win of the season moved them on to eight points, moving off the basement on points difference and leaving Cronulla Sharks propping up the NRL ladder.
The game didn’t start brilliantly for Boyd, who spilled a Johnathan Thurson bomb and Antonio Winterstein tidied up for the opening score. The Knights fullback soon recovered with a try, sandwiched between Joey Leilua and Kurt Gidley efforts, to lead his side to a 16-6 half-time lead.
In the second half, Dane Gagai posted a double and Tyrone Roberts benefited from a long-range break by Boyd to stretch Newcastle’s lead to 28-6 with twenty minutes to go.
Cowboys suffered with injuries in the game, with Ray Thompson (hamstring) and Rory Kostjasyn (ribs) having to leave the field in the second half. Paul Green’s side rallied towards the end, scoring four tries in the final 18 minutes through a Robert Lui double and a try each for Tariq Sims and Curtis Rona.
Akuila Uate scored Knights’ seventh try in the midst of the Cowboys revival, as the home side did enough to end their streak and keep up Cowboys’ poor form away from home.
One negative for Knights was Boyd being placed on report in the final minute for a high tackle on Thurston.