A hat-trick from flying young winger Jake Mamo helped the Newcastle Knights to a comfortable 18-7 win over the Dragons on day one of the 2015 NRL Auckland Nines.
Dane Gagai also scored from a Jarrod Mullen chip ahead in a strong defensive effort that was a good sign for the rest of their tournament.
However it didn't stop flying Fijian Eto Nabuli opening the scoring when he galloped away from around the halfway mark early on for the Dragons' only try.
Benji Marshall said his team had room for improvement after getting his first taste of Nines footy.
"It was a lot harder than it looks, you think there is a lot more space than there really is," Marshall said.
"I think the team that holds the ball the most is going to win and we only completed at like 50 per cent out there.
"At least we have a hang for it now and can go and change a few things."