Knights teenager Sione Mata'utia breaks Warriors' hearts with a hat-trick of tries

Teenager Sione Mata'utia tests the Warriors' defence during the game but ended up with a hat-trick of tries.

Teenager Sione Mata'utia tests the Warriors' defence during the game but ended up with a hat-trick of tries.

THE Newcastle Knights pulled off a thrilling 28-22 win over New Zealand Warriors at Hunter Stadium on Sunday.

Eighteen-year-old rookie Sione Mata'utia scored a hat-trick of tries for the Knights, who have now won three of their last four games.

In a tight match, the Knights jumped to a 14-point lead within the first 30 minutes, but found themselves pegged back to 14-all shortly after half-time.

Second-half tries to brothers Sione and Chanel Mata'utia had Newcastle regain the lead before the Warriors provided a late comeback to finish six points adrift.

In the end the sides were only separated by Kurt Kidley's boot - the veteran kicked four from seven goals, with the Warriors' Chad Townsend managing to convert just one of his side's five tries.

Knights coach Wayne Bennett praised Sione Mata'utia post-game, saying he saw the versatile back as a future captain of the club.

Newcastle head north to face the Brisbane Broncos at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday afternoon, with Bennett up against the club he will join next season.

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