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In what loomed as an important conflict for either side, the Newcastle Knights have defeated the Sharks to climb into the NRL’s high eight.

They could have simply entered the highest eight for the first time since March, however might the Newcastle Knights now emerge because the group to start a finals cost that runs deep into September?

The Knights claimed a scrappy 16-14 win over Cronulla on Sunday, with a 72nd-minute penalty aim from Jake Clifford proving the distinction in a closely-fought affair.

The gritty win lifts Newcastle into the highest half of the ladder for the first time since spherical three, after they had fallen right into a seemingly unending season-long slumber.

But the return to full well being of stars Kalyn Ponga and Mitchell Pearce has coincided with a season-high three-game profitable streak, and resulted in arguably their greatest type of the season.

Adam O’Brien’s aspect is now in seventh spot with three video games left within the season.

The victory could have come at a value, nevertheless, with key front-rower Daniel Saifiti struggling a left knee harm that might hamper the Knights’ quest to make the finals.

The Sharks fought valiantly however lacked the category to ice their alternatives, sorely lacking their very own star gamers in Wade Graham, Matt Moylan and the now-departed Shaun Johnson.

They now stay in tenth spot, two factors behind eight-placed Gold Coast.

Cronulla should’ve missed the pre-game climate report, with Newcastle retrieving the ball after kicking off into a powerful northerly at Moreton Daily Stadium in Redcliffe.

It resulted within the quickest strive in three years, Enari Tuala touching down after simply 35 seconds.

But Cronulla labored feverishly to beat its horror begin, flexing its muscle in defence and narrowed its ball-playing to say the ultimate two tries of the half.

The end result was a four-point lead on the break, with a Briton Nikora offload ending in Jesse Ramien opening the Sharks’ account, earlier than Ronaldo Mulitalo was on the tip of a Connor Tracey kick.

An acrobatic Tuala four-pointer levelled the competition early in an arm-wrestle of a second-half, the place each groups traded penalty targets to arrange a tense end.

Clifford then sealed the win with a penalty aim late.

Saifiti blow

Saifiti went down in agony after bearing the load of Sharks prop Aiden Tolman on his left leg following a cost near the tryline late within the second half.

The NSW State of Origin prop tried to play on for a handful of performs earlier than limping off quickly after, immediately elevating issues about his availability for the remainder of the season.

David Klemmer, who was arguably the Knights’ greatest with a team-high 168 metres off the bench, is the logical substitute, however faces a nervous wait on the match evaluate cost sheet.

Final straight

The end result leaves a logjam of six groups inside two factors of one another within the race to the finals.

Newcastle faces lowly Canterbury and Brisbane within the last three weeks, sandwiched round a conflict in opposition to Gold Coast, whereas Cronulla meet the Wests Tigers, Broncos and Melbourne.

The Knights could must combat on with out Klemmer, who was placed on report for a crusher deal with on Ramien, whereas teammate Mitch Barnett was additionally cited for a excessive shot on Nikora.

Sharks prop Braden Hamlin-Uele is also in bother for harmful contact.

Originally revealed as Newcastle Knights edge out Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks to climb into NRL top eight

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