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

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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.