Gunnedah talent Hayden Loughrey played a starring role as Newcastle Knights scored a thrilling National Youth Competition win against Sydney Roosters on Good Friday.
The Knights looked destined for defeat when the Roosters held a decisive 20-12 lead after Kiah Cooper’s 61st minute try.
But Newcastle would not be denied as centre Heath Gibbs cut the gap to four with his 72nd minute effort before Loughrey made his mark.
The talented halfback produced some fancy footwork with five minutes on the clock to evade the Roosters defence and level the scores at 20-all courtesy of his four-pointer.
Kainoa Gudgeon displayed ice-cool temperament to slot the conversion and deliver the Knights a 22-20 victory.
Loughrey again had an impressive game in the halves alongside Jack Johns, the son of former Newcastle pivot and noted television personality Matthew.
The success keeps the Knights in the top eight, with the Novocastrians sitting seventh on eight points following back-to-back wins, the second time Todd Lowrie’s side has achieved that feat in 2017.
Newcastle plays North Queensland in Townsville on Saturday.
The Cowboys sit in second spot, having dropped just one match in the opening six rounds this season.