Rugby Union: Merewether pips Nelson Bay after the bell with Sam Bright's 52 metre penalty goal

Sam Bright's 52-metre penalty goal after full-time has seen ladder leaders Merewether escape Nelson Bay with a 30-27 win and another full complement of Newcastle and Hunter Rugby Union competition points.

The Greens five-eighth produced the clutch play having already levelled proceedings with a penalty goal kicked from in front just a few minutes earlier.

"We were lucky to get the win," Merewether co-coach Trent Considine said.

"We probably would have been happy with the draw in the end, but after the bell Sam Bright kicked that penalty somehow.

"It [Nelson Bay] is a hard place to go and get the points so we'll take that."

The visitors had trailed the Gropers 27-24 after leading 17-8 at half-time. Nelson Bay scored a try nearing the main break.

"We had a good lead at half-time but they scored right on the siren and that really changed the complexion of the game," Considine said.

"They just out-enthused us in the second half."

Merewether have now secured the maximum five points on offer in back-to-back outings to start their 2019 campaign having thumped Southern Beaches, who had the bye, 87-0 last weekend.

Considine nominated captain Jarome Wilson fellow loose forward Lachlan Miller as the Greens' best.

Nelson Bay player-coach Ben Whaler said the Gropers "let them off the hook".

The hosts collected two bonus points.

Elsewhere in second-round fixtures on Saturday an 80-minute cameo from NSW prop Andrew Tuala couldn't help Wanderers get past unbeaten Lake Macquarie at Walters Park, with the Two Blues going down 19-14.

Four-time defending champions Hamilton narrowly overcame the Bulls 27-26 at Singleton after scoring a try in the 77th minute.

Maitland proved far too strong for University at the Callaghan campus, running out victors 58-20 to keep their perfect record intact this year.

LADDER: Merewether 10; Lake Macquarie, Maitland 9; Nelson Bay 7; Hamilton 5; Singleton, Wanderers 2; Uni, Southern Beaches 0.