Illawarra have suffered another Intrust Super Premiership setback following their 32-14 loss to the Newcastle Knights at UOW Jubilee Oval, Kogarah on Sunday.
Knights winger Tom Hughes had the ball rolling within the first six minutes which was quickly followed by Tom Cronan 10 minutes later.
The remainder of the half was all Illawarra which kicked off when Izaac Thompson scored from a Matt Dufty cut-out ball in the 21st minute.
Dufty had one for himself six minutes later before a 70-metre intercept from Jai Field put Illawarra up 14-12 at half-time.
The Knights started the second half with a bang and didn't let up until the death when Hughes (his second) and Jack Cogger scored in quick succession.
Hughes had his hat-trick in the 65th minute while Chanel Mata'utia scored another seven minutes later to secure a Newcastle win.
Thompson had his second for Illawarra in the final two minutes but it wasn't enough to prevent the Knights' 12-point win.
Newcastle Knights 32 (Tom Hughes 3, Thomas Cronan, Jack Cogger, Chanel Mata'utia tries; Trent Hodkinson 4 goals) defeated Illawarra RLFC 20 (Izaac Thompson 2, Matt Dufty, Jai Field tries; Jai Field 2 goals) at UOW Jubilee Oval, Kogarah. Half-time: Illawarra 14-12.