The Newcastle Knights have made a winning start to 2017, running in four tries to two to defeat the Wests Tigers 18-10 in the opening game of the Rangitoto Pool at the Downer NRL Auckland Nines.
The Tigers never recovered from a sloppy start which saw them leak a second-minute try to Ken Sio out wide, and then compounded the error by coughing the ball up on the next set.
Newcastle took full advantage, marching down to score again through Nathan Ross, before Sam Stone took the lead out to 14-0 with a third try.
Tigers utility Michael Chee-Kam scored on the half-time siren to reduce the deficit to 14-6.
Both sides traded tries in the final three minutes, Jack Littlejohn getting over for the Tigers and Mitch Barnett for the Knights, to finish the match at 18-10.
Knights 18 (Ken Sio, Nathan Ross, Sam Stone, Mitch Barnett tries; 1 goals) def. Tigers 10 (Michael Chee-Kam, Jack Littlejohn tries; 1 goals). Half-time: 14-6.