New season, same old Knights - Warriors inflict 19th straight defeat on Newcastle


Ryan Hoffman's 73rd minute try proved decisive as New Zealand Warriors edged past Newcastle Knights in the NRL, while the Parramatta Eels also opened their season with a win.

David Fusitu'a crossed three times in the first half at Mount Smart Stadium as the hosts took control, the Warriors leading 20-8 at the break.

It was not plain sailing for the hosts, though, as the Knights - winners of the wooden spoon last year - stormed back into the game, Nathan Ross going over twice to put them 22-20 ahead with 14 to play.

However, Hoffman ensured a 26-22 victory for the Warriors as he powered over from close range in the 73rd minute, Shaun Johnson adding the extras to wrap things up and send the Knights - who lost Dylan Phythian to a suspected anterior cruciate ligament injury - to a  19th defeat in a row.

The Eels were somewhat more comfortable on their way to a 20-12 win over the Manly Sea Eagles.

Tries from Corey Norman, Bevan French and Clint Gutherson, who also had eight points with the boot, saw the Eels to their victory.