Newcastle Knights overturned a 16-point half-time deficit to score a crucial 24-16 win over Canberra Raiders at Equex Centre on Saturday.
The Knights were wasteful in the first half but had all the answers in the second to extend Canberra's woes in front of a sell out Wagga crowd.
It all started with a short kick-off by Kalyn Ponga, which lead to their first points of the clash.
Newcastle coach Adam O'Brien said the play had been weeks in the making.
"It was definitely important we started well in the second half and it was a nice play and we built our game off it but we need to build our games as you're not going to get them every week," O'Brien said.
The Raiders have had all the play early but elected to take a conservative approach after losing five of their last six games with George Williams slotting two regulation penalty goal attempts.
Both teams looked to entertain the 6642-strong crowd with some enterprising play but execution was found wanting.
Newcastle blew a couple of chances but it looked like they had scored with 12 minutes left in the half when some Ponga brilliance put Enari Tuala over but it was denied for an obstruction.
It proved to be a turning point as two minutes later Jordan Rapana drifted across from dummy half before producing a lovely ball to put Joe Tapine over for a 10-0 lead.
The Raiders kept on attacking after Ponga spilled a towering Williams bomb and off the resulting scrum the Englishman fired off a cut out pass which saw Bailey Simonsson score in the corner.
After pulling out in the warm up last week, and reportedly suffering from a bout of homesickness, Williams showed no ill effects as a capped off a strong first half with a sideline conversion to hand the Raiders a 16-0 lead at the break.
Newcastle surprised to start the second half as Ponga's pinpoint short kick-off found Lachlan Fitzgibbon and it soon turned into points as Connor Watson put Phoenix Crossland over two minutes after the break.
Again both teams blew good opportunities but it was the Knights who added to the scoreboard next as Ponga stepped off his left foot to over over with 20 minutes remaining.
The Knights then capitalised as Williams' midfield kick just squirted out on the full. After Kurt Mann earned a line drop out, Newcastle refused to let the ball die as Tyson Frizell put them in front 18-16 when he scored with 12 to play.
Canberra almost hit back immediately but Caleb Aekins couldn't put the ball down from a Williams kick.
The Raiders tried to respond as Rapana made a break down the right edge on the second tackle but Jayden Brailey intercepted his kick.
The Knights co-captain then sealed the comeback win when he scored with three minutes to play.
NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS 24 (Phoenix Crossland, Kalyn Ponga, Tyson Frizell, Jayden Brailey tries; Kalyn Ponga 4 goals) d CANBERRA RAIDERS 16 (Joe Tapine, Bailey Simonsson tries; George Williams 4 goals)