It was a weekend of tight results for Wests Tigers, with some falling the right way and others the wrong way as the Knights snuck home to win 22-20 in first-grade.
Ivan Cleary's men looked to have done enough to make it four wins in a row when they led by six points with seven minutes on the clock, but two late tries saw the visitors fight back and eventually steal the win.
Elsewhere, it was better news for the club's Intrust Super Premiership side, who remained on top of the ladder after seven rounds with a gutsy four-point win over Newcastle at Campbelltown.
Newcastle Knights 22 def. Wests Tigers 20 at Scully Park
After trailing 10-0 at half-time, three tries in five minutes paved the way for Wests Tigers to retake the lead in the second half against Newcastle — only to fall behind in the final minute of the match as Shaun Kenny-Dowall touched down off a cross-field kick from Jamie Buhrer. The loss was just the second defeat of the season for Wests Tigers, who still sit comfortably inside the top four of the competition.
Western Suburbs Magpies 24 def. Newcastle Knights 20 at Campbelltown Sports Stadium
It wasn't the prettiest performance from Western Suburbs on Saturday, but Brett Hodgson's side did enough to get the job done against a gritty Knights outfit at Campbelltown. Trailing 14-0 early in the match, the Magpies clawed their way back in to the match with Josh Drinkwater again controlling the show — setting up three tries including the match-winner to Mahe Fonua with less than 10 minutes remaining. Western Suburbs sit atop the Intrust Super Premiership ladder after seven rounds with the best attack and defence.
Newcastle Knights 18 def. Wests Tigers 4 at Campbelltown Sports Stadium
Wests Tigers produced one of their strongest performances of the year in Jersey Flegg but it wasn't enough to down one of the top sides in the competition in Newcastle. Dylan Smith scored his first try of the season for the home side, but the visitors showed their class to hold on for a grinding 18-4 victory that leaves Wests Tigers still without a win in the competition but with improved performances every week.
ROUND 8 FIXTURES
Saturday, April 28
Tarsha Gale — Wests Tigers vs. Newcastle Knights, St. Mary's Stadium, 3:00pm (Preliminary Final)
Sunday, April 29
Jersey Flegg — Parramatta Eels vs. Wests Tigers, Ringrose Park, 11:00am
ISP — Wentworthville Magpies vs. Western Suburbs Magpies, Ringrose Park, 3:00pm
NRL — Parramatta Eels vs. Wests Tigers, ANZ Stadium, 4:00pm