Nikorima stars for Roosters in NYC
The Roosters have outlasted the Knights 34-16 in a plucky Holden Cup performance to snap a two-game losing streak and confirm their place in the top eight.
The class of Jayden Nikorima proved the difference at Allianz Stadium with the dynamic youngster showing off all the tricks he had picked up from his stint in the NRL to get his young Roosters home.
The 19-year-old was initially named in the halves but shifted to fullback where he looked equally as comfortable setting up two tries and making plenty of metres from kick returns.
It took just seven minutes for Nikorima to make his mark on the game, first releasing Bernard King down the left edge before throwing a 30 metre pass from the following play to set up Johnny Tuivasa-Sheck for the game's first try.
The fullback was at it again just two minutes later, slicing through some stunned Newcastle defence before linking up with Grant Garvey to score next to the posts.
The carnage continued two sets later as the Roosters dummy-half did it all himself from close range to complete his second double in as many games.
The Roosters looked in complete control after a dominant first half hour, but the Knights hung in with some desperate defence to keep the game within striking distance and were rewarded with two late tries leading into the break.
Both four pointers were somewhat fortuitous with underwhelming kicks leading directly to tries.
The first saw a midfield bomb go sideways into the hands of Matt Soper-Lawler who busted through two tackles to run 30 metres and get the Knights on the board.
The visitors then narrowed the gap to just six points with their second try just a minute out from the break with lock Mitch Casson reacting best to a deflected kick to barge his way over from close range.
An error from the second-half kick-off gifted the Tricolours an early opportunity to halt the Knights' momentum, but an error two plays later put an end to that.
They didn't have to wait long though with centre Kiah Cooper coming up with an intercept to race 70 metres and push out the lead to two converted tries.
The 12-point lead barely lasted a minute as a sloppy play the ball put the Knights straight back on the attack for Jack Cogger to put Eddy Tuilotolava over for an easy try.
Both teams struggled to find their groove in an error-riddled 20 minute period before Roosters halfback Jesse Marschke did it all himself with 13 minutes to go to give the hosts some breathing space.
A lovely stab kick from Lachlan Lam – the son of Roosters great Adrian Lam – set up Bernard Lewis for a well deserved try to seal what was eventually an easy 18-point win.
Roosters 34 (Grant Garvey 2, Johnny Tuivasa-Sheck, Kiah Cooper, Jesse Marschke, Bernard Lewis tries; Jayden Nikorima 5 goals) defeated Knights 16 (Matt Soper-Lawler, Mitch Casson, Eddy Tuilotolava tries; Jake McNamara 2 goals) at Allianz Stadium. Half-time: 16-10 Roosters