NRL 2019: Newcastle Knights snap five-game losing streak with Paramatta Eels win

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.


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