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Knights stun Sharks with last-gasp try

A Dane Gagai try with less than two minutes remaining kept alive Newcastle's NRL finals hopes as the Knights edged out Cronulla 18-14 at Remondis Stadium on Saturday night.
Knights stun Sharks with last-gasp try
by AAP

By Ian McCullough

SYDNEY, Aug 10 AAP - A Dane Gagai try with less than two minutes remaining kept alive Newcastle's NRL finals hopes as the Knights edged out Cronulla 18-14 at Remondis Stadium on Saturday night.

In an absorbing contest, the Sharks looked to have sealed a deserved victory when Todd Carney kicked a penalty five minutes from fulltime.

Gagai, who crossed twice, sealed the win after Jarrod Mullen produced a brilliant pinpoint kick and the former Brisbane flyer showed great determination and strength to leap high and power his way over the line in front of a crowd of 11,358.

The game marked the 250th appearance for Newcastle hooker Danny Buderus - breaking the joint club record he shared with Andrew Johns - and the Knights players embraced the former NSW skipper en masse at the final siren.

Wayne Bennett's side were on the back foot for much of the second half and have Robbie Rochow to thank for denying the outstanding Andrew Fifita a certain try with a brilliant last-gasp tackle just short of the line.

A Kurt Gidley penalty on the stroke of halftime had given Newcastle an 8-6 lead at the interval.

Gidley, returning from a foot injury that's kept him out for two months, scored from close range after Ben Pomeroy was placed on report for catching the Knights skipper across the neck with his forearm as he was tackled.

The incident led to a minor melee between players from both sides in an entertaining opening period between two sides desperately trying to keep their finals hopes alive.

The Sharks went ahead through Fifita with 10 minutes on the clock after Gagai coughed up possession to Sosaia Feki 30 metres from the Knights' line.

But he atoned for that error just before the half-hour mark by applying the finishing touches to an exquisite offload from Akuila Uate who hauled Mullen kick.

The second half saw the Sharks regain the lead through Wade Graham after the back-rower reacted quickest to get the final touch to Carney's probing kick.

But Tyrone Roberts hit back almost immediately for the visitors after a bellringer of a tackle from Neville Costigan knocked the ball from Nathan Stapleton's grasp.

Prop Kade Snowden picked up the loose ball and sent the halfback over.

The Sharks then proceeded to pin the visitors back in their own half for a 10-minute spell but failed to find a way over and Gagai stunned the home crowd at the death to steal the two points.




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