Fielding a team boasting 11 Sharks contracted players the Newtown Jets have slipped to a disappointing 32-16 loss to the Newcastle Knights.
On an afternoon when local boy Nathan Ross celebrated his home coming to Kurri Sports Ground with two tries in a standout performance, the Newcastle side jumped out to handy 16-6 half time lead, a Todd Murphy line break resulting in a Kurt Kara try, followed by Nathan Gardner's conversion late in the half the only Newtown points.
A Murphy try narrowed the margin to just four points early in the second period, before the home team extended their advantage again in taking the score out to 20-12.
A well worked backline move saw Gardner score to give the Jets hope once again at 20-16 down and plenty of time left on the clock but from there the Knights asserted their authority and went on with the job in the securing a 16-point win
Knights fullback Ross and team-mate and fellow speedster Jake Mamo were the standouts, making life difficult for the visiting Jets as they proved hard to contain in what was described as an entertaining clash.
Fullback Gardner was dangerous for the Jets, while Murphy had some good touches.
In a positive to come from the match the Sharks were able to get some game time into the legs of Sam Tagataese and Jacob Gagan, with the pair coming through the contest unscathed.
For Tagataese it was his first run since injuring a groin in the gym after Christmas, while for Gagan the match represented his return from a hamstring strain suffered in the Sharks NRL trial against Manly back in early February.
The pair returned to the training paddock today and will come into calculations for selection in the NRL squad for the Sharks next match against the Melbourne Storm on Saturday.
As for the Jets they will be hoping to notch their first win of the season when they take on undefeated Penrith Panthers on Saturday.
That match is a Panthers home game with the Jets traveling to Pepper Stadium on Saturday. Kick off is at 3.00pm.
NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS 32
Nathan Ross 2, Jake Mamo 2, Danny Kerr, Chad Redman tries; Redman 4 goals
NEWTOWN JETS 16
Nathan Gardner, Todd Murphy, Kurt Kara tries; Gardner 2 goals
See the video highlights from the match - CLICK HERE