Newcastle have momentarily eased pressure on coach Nathan Brown, with a drought-breaking 28-14 victory over Parramatta.
Entering Sunday's NRL clash on a five-game losing streak, the Knights appeared set for a cruisy victory, when they raced out to a 20-0 lead inside 30 minutes.
But the Eels finally woke up with tries either side of halftime to get within six points early in the second half at McDonald Jones Stadium.
A penalty goal from Kalyn Ponga, who was one of Newcastle's best, made it an eight-point advantage, before Mitchell Pearce sealed the victory with a clutch try.
The victory not only relieves the heat on Brown, but launches the Knights from last place all the way to 11th spot on the ladder.
It was a sorely needed improvement from the Knights, who got the 19,604 crowd going early in the contest, when they shot out to a three-try advantage.
By contrast, the Eels were a mess, committing comical errors and penalties to gift the home side a sizeable lead by the 27th minute.
In the first sign of a hangover from last week's Bankwest Stadium opening party, Ponga raced 85 metres, after three Eels defenders failed to get onside.
The second came when a Brad Takairangi pass from a touch-finder sailed over Mitchell Moses' head, before he ran into Peni Terepo attempting to pick it up.
The third was a Clint Gutherson kick that went out on the full, which led to a simple James Gavet try soon after.
Lachlan Fitzgibbon also crossed and there was almost a fourth, had Mitch Barnett grounded a grubber cleanly.
But the Eels found some life late in the half, and reduced the halftime deficit to 12 points on a Maika Sivo try and a Moses penalty.
The Knights now travel to New Zealand, where they will face the Warriors next Sunday.
Join us at 4pm Sunday for live updates of the Warriors v Knights NRL clash.