The Newcastle Knights have continued their perfect start to season 2021 with a 20-16 win over the New Zealand Warriors at Central Coast Stadium.
Trailing by two points late in the second half, a brilliant individual effort from Bradman Best set up the match-winning play for Newcastle, who looked destined to fall short as the Warriors looked to pull off a comeback.
The Warriors had crossed over for two tries in ten minutes late in the second half to take the lead before Best produced some individual brilliance.
A big tackle bust from the 19-year-old, who broke the tackle of Peta Hiku, allowed the centre to race down the sideline before setting up Hymel Hunt for the winner in the 74th minute.
“He’s a special player this kid,” rugby league great Steve Roach told Fox League.
“Give him some early ball, he’s a tackle buster.
“They just needed that little extra from someone – Bradman Best produces.
“Bradman Best, how good is this kid!”
However, it wasn’t the only big play from the young gun.
Best notched an earlier try assist during the second half when he drew the attention of three Warriors defenders before producing a flick pass to Hunt who scored in the corner, which helped give the Knights an eight-point lead at the time.
Tonight’s performance from the young gun will no doubt be a welcoming moment for fans after Best was restricted to just 11 NRL matches last year while emerging as one of the game’s top centres coming through by still managing to produce eight tries in 2020.
NRL Highlights: Knights hold on against the Warriors
“You’d like to think at his age that he’s got a whole lot more improvement in him,” Knights coach Adam O’Brien said after the match.
“The thing that I will say, usually with young talented guys it’s around their preparation and keeping their hunger to get their prep right that you have to constantly be on top of, I don’t have to do that with this kid.
“What you see out there and how focused he looks, that’s what he looks like on Monday when he rolls into the joint.
“He’s a determined young man and I’m really fortunate to be able to coach him.”
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