Newcastle Knights finally ended a 19-game losing sequence as they defeated Gold Coast Titans side 34-26 today at their McDonald Jones Stadium.
In a tight encounter throughout against the injury-hit Titans, the Knights finally assured themselves victory when their captain Trent Hodkinson fed Peter Mata’utia, who scored close to the line against a tiring Titans’ defence and that was followed by Nathan Ross touching down in the final minute.
The Titans had suffered several injury blows in the first half, with Jarryd Hayne, Anthony Don and Karl Lawton all having to leave the field, while their recruit from St Helens, Joe Greenwood, left the field after an early head clash but was able to return to the field after passing a concussion test.
Knights fullback Brendan Elliot scored the opening try and prop Jack Stockwell score the Knights’ second.
But Konrad Hurrell got the Titans on the scoreboard after some great play from Anthony Don and Karl Lawton scored a second.
And the Titans took a 12-16 lead into half-time when Tyronne Roberts-Davis went over in the corner just before the half-time hooter.
Knights winger Nathan Ross levelled the scores just after the interval, but the Titans moved ahead again with a spectactular try by Greenwood after they had kept the ball alive superbly for one of the tries of the season.
But when Sam Stone scored the first try of his NRL career Hodkinson’s conversion gave the Knights a two-point lead with 23 minutes to play.
The Titans equalised with a penalty and then looked the likely winners when Hurrell scored his second out wide.
But the Knights roared back in the final five minutes to send their supporters home happy for the first time since early last season.
Knights: Brendan Elliot, Ken Sio, Dane Gagai, Peter Mata’utia, Nathan Ross, Brock Lamb, Trent Hodkinson,. Daniel Saifiti, Danny Levi, Josh Starling, Sione Mata’utia, Jamie Buhrer, Mitchell Barnett; Subs: Luke Yates, Jack Stockwell, Sam Stone, Jacob Saifiti.
Titans: Jarryd Hayne, Anthony Don, Chris McQueen, Konrad Hurrell, Tyronne Roberts-Davis, Kane Elgey, Ashley Taylor, Jarrod Wallace, Karl Lawton, Ryan James, Kevin Proctor, Joe Greenwood, Leivaha Pulu; Subs: Tyrone Roberts, Nathaniel Peteru, Agnatius Paasi, Eddy Pettybourne.
Full coverage of the weekend’s NRL action can be found in Monday’s edition of League Express.