Caitlin Johnston leads Knights from the front with four tries in victory over Panthers at St Marys | photos

IMPACT: Caitlin Johnston was a key performer in the Knights' 24-point win over the Panthers at St Marys Stadium. Picture: Isaac McIntyre
IMPACT: Caitlin Johnston was a key performer in the Knights' 24-point win over the Panthers at St Marys Stadium. Picture: Isaac McIntyre

The Newcastle Knights have had mixed results in the Tarsha Gale Cup recently, including an emphatic win over the Bulldogs before falling to the Sharks in Cessnock.

When the under 18s squad find their rhythm however, they look unbeatable, and their 52-28 win over the Penrith Panthers at St Marys has proven that.

It was Caitlin Johnston’s efforts that lead the Knights to the 24-point victory, with the forward crossing the line four times before slotting home two conversions.

Lethal centre Skye Pullman, who was feared to be facing a lay-off with injury, returned for the clash and scored early in the second half.

Emily Harman, Joeli Morris, Olivia Kernick, Shenay Ball and Caitlin Shoulders all added to the 52 points for the red-and-blues.

Just a week after an error-prone outing against the Sharks, a commanding performance will give the representative squad the boost they need for the middle leg of the season.

The win also puts the Knights in fourth place, four points behind third and equal with the Dragons, Panthers and Rabbitohs.

Their positive point difference (+90) sees them lead the mid-table pack.

Competition table after round 5 in the Tarsha Gale Cup 2018.

Competition table after round 5 in the Tarsha Gale Cup 2018.

Newcastle will collect two points with the bye in round 6 of the Tarsha Gale Cup.

The Knights then face the table-topping Steelers on Saturday, March 24, in what will be a true test of the squad’s fortitude and talent.