Newcastle overcame the loss of Kalyn Ponga pre-game and a chaotic second half to secure a frantic 26-12 victory over the Broncos at McDonald Jones Stadium on Saturday night.
The Knights delivered a near perfect first half to race to an 18-0 lead with a 9-3 penalty count against them the only concern for Nathan Brown going into half-time.
But a second half of errors and ill-discipline sent shockwaves through the strong 24,397 crowd as the Broncos capitalised to narrow the lead by eight and remain in the game.
An error from Broncos halfback Sean O'Sullivan took the sting out of the Broncos' momentum late as the Knights rallied with a try through Mason Lino to extend the lead out to a more comfortable 14-point buffer.
Lino was enormous for the home side, finishing off a piece of Jesse Ramien brilliance on the right edge while setting up Shaun Kenny-Dowall earlier in the night and producing 100% off the goal-kicking boot.
Ramien steamrolls Boyd to set up Lino
Broncos coach Anthony Seibold tinkered with his spine earlier in the week with Anthony Milford shifting to fullback and Darius Boyd moving into five-eighth.
Boyd soon found himself at left centre after Richard Kennar left the field midway through the first half with a shoulder concern.
The Knights had an injury problem of their own to match with Edrick Lee suffering a suspected broken arm.
Fill-in Knights fullback Kurt Mann was involved in two of the side's four tries with the utility getting on the outside of O'Sullivan close to the line and finding an unmarked Lee out wide to open the scoring.
Match: Knights v Broncos
Round 15 -
Venue: McDonald Jones Stadium, Newcastle
- LIVE PASS
Brisbane had multiple chances to get over the line with a Corey Oates effort off a Boyd kick landing on the in-goal line.
The Broncos were then denied a try-scoring opportunity shortly after through an obstruction call.
Newcastle extended their lead off the back of a Tim Glasby offload with Pearce and Mann linking to send Lachlan Fitzgibbon over on the left edge.
Lino made Newcastle's third look easy when he produced a cut-out pass for Shaun Kenny-Dowall to dive over but that's where all the smooth sailing ended for the Novocastrians.
An error from Jamie Buhrer to start off the kick-off to start the second half, and another penalty conceded by the Knights, their 10th conceded of the game, saw James Gavet sent to the sin bin in the 42nd minute.
The Broncos immediately got on the board through Thomas Flegler, who finished off a simple second phase play on the right edge and get the visitors on the board.
Signs looked worrying for the Knights when Pearce failed to find touch on two occasions, while an error from Josh King put the home side under further pressure with 12 men.
But some gritty defence on the goal line repelled the Broncos, who struggled to find the killer blow despite another mountain performance from returning prop Payne Haas.
FInal moments of game placed on report as tensions boil over