The St George Illawarra Dragons have produced a remarkable 32-28 comeback victory over the Newcastle Knights at UOW Jubilee Oval, Kogarah on Sunday afternoon.
Down 28-10 at half-time, the Dragons started the second half exactly how they needed to when Joel Thompson scored from a Gareth Widdop grubber in the 47th minute.
Josh Dugan took it upon himself for the Dragons' next try when he produced a huge effort from dummy half to bring the scoreline back to within a converted try.
Nightingale had his own hat-trick in the 58th minute when he crossed out thanks to a Widdop cut-out ball to help level the scores back up at 28-all.
Centre Kurt Mann helped the Dragons back into the lead when he stepped and weaved his way over the try-line in the 67th minute – which would end up proving the difference.
The Dragons day started the worse way possible however when prop Paul Vaughan injured his calf and failed to return after four minutes.
The Dragons were able to overlook this setback with a quick fire double to Jason Nightingale – his 99th and 100th career tries – within the first eight minutes.
The Knights owned the remainder of the first half, with their first points coming in the 20th minute through Nathan Ross.
Ross had his second three minutes later when he was the benefactor of a Jaelen Feeney short pass, before the fullback put back-rower Lachlan Fitzgibbon over in the 26th minute.
Ross had his hat-trick by the 31st minute after he raced 80 metres to score following a Dragons mistake. Newcastle extended that lead three minutes later through Brendan Elliott out wide.
A Brock Lamb penalty goal at the death rounded the Knights' 18-point lead at half-time but it wasn't enough to prevent a Dragons comeback.
St George Illawarra 32 (Jason Nightingale 3, Joel Thompson, Josh Dugan, Kurt Mann tries; Gareth Widdop 4 goals) defeated Newcastle Knights 28 (Nathan Ross 3, Lachlan Fitzgibbon, Brendan Elliott tries; Brock Lamb 4 goals) at UOW Jubilee Oval, Kogarah. Crowd: 10, 174. Half-time: Knights 28-10.