In the Real NRL Maitland snuck home against Central by two points to complete round one.
Central drew first blood through Dain Bamblett, after a move that went through several sets of hands.
The Pickers responded as Ethan Cook combined with Josh Allison.
Cook then put Allison through a gap and he did the rest, as the visitors hit the front and Allison had a first half double.
Down 10-6, the Butcher Boys hit back.
Jordon Worboys got Central on level terms from dummy half.
Shortly before the break, Bamblett grabbed a hard-fought second try.
Both sides showed plenty of fight in the second half, but Maitland won the war.
NEWCASTLE RUGBY LEAGUE
MAITLAND 22 – CENTRAL 20