Halauafu Lavaka collects a cross-field kick to score. Photo: Nathan Hopkins

The Dyldam Parramatta Eels NYC side has been defeated 20-16 by a gritty Newcastle Knights outfit on Sunday afternoon at Pirtek Stadium.

The young Knights opened the scoring thanks to five-eighth Sam Keenan, but hooker Alec Bush evened up the score early for the Eels in a tightly-contested first half.

With five-eighth Ryan Matterson ruled out through suspension, Mark Daoud stepped into the number six jersey for the Blue and Gold, and put in a pin-point kick to the right wing for Halauafu Lavaka to put the Eels in front. 

In an end-to-end game, the Knights applied pressure before halftime to cross via fullback Bryce Donovan and a crashing try to big second-rower Lachlan Fitzgibbon.

Coming back from the sheds with a slim 14-10 lead, Newcastle came out firing in the second half, as Donovan extended the Knights’ lead and added the extras to his own four-pointer.

It took almost twenty minutes for Nathan Davis to break through for the Eels and narrow the scoreline back to just four points, but the Knights dug in and held them out for a narrow victory.

Newcastle Knights - 20 (Donovan 2, Keenan, Fitzgibbon. Donovan: 2/4)

Dyldam Parramatta Eels - 16 (Bush, Lavaka, Davis. Davis: 2/3)