Gold Coast Titans came from behind in the second half to secure an overwhelming 38-8 victory against Newcastle Knights at CBus Super Stadium on Saturday.
The Titans had made some changes to their backline, with Kane Elgey starting at stand-off, Tyrone Roberts moving to fullback and Jarryd Hayne playing in the centre. Tyronne Roberts-Davis dropped out of the side with Morgan Boyle joining the bench.
Josh King was included in the Knights’ starting side at loose forward, with Luke Yates moving back to the bench and Anthony Tupou dropping out of the matchday squad.
The Knights took a lead on 13 minutes with a try by Sam Stone after an error by Titans winger Dan Sarginson. Brock Lamb converted and then added a penalty after 19 minutes for the Knights to lead 8-0.
But that was as good as it got for them, and the Titans replied through Jarryd Hayne when he bulldozed his way past three defenders on 24 minutes with Ashley Taylore converting.
Coming out for the second half with a two-point deficit, the Titans swept their opponents aside with six more tries from Elgey, Hayne, two from Hurrell, former St Helens star Joe Greenwood and joint captain Ryan James.
It was the class of the Titans’ playmakers and of Hayne that made the difference, while Hurrell was too hot to handle for the Knights. Greenwood’s try came when he performed a one-on-one strip on Brock Lamb ten metres out and crashed his way over the line.
With this victory the Titans now move onto six points, while the Knights are isolated on two points at the bottom of the NRL ladder.
Titans: 6 Tyrone Roberts, 2 Anthony Don, 1 Jarryd Hayne, 4 Konrad Hurrell, 3 Dan Sarginson, 14 Kane Elgey, 7 Ashley Taylor, 8 Jarrod Wallace, 9 Nathan Peats, 10 Ryan James (c), 11 Chris McQueen, 12 Kevin Proctor (c), 13 Ryan Simpkins; Interchange: 15 Joe Greenwood, 16 Pat Vaivai, 17 Leivaha Pulu, 18 Morgan Boyle.
Tries: Hayne 2, Elgey, Hurrell 2, Greenwood, James; Goals: Taylor 2, Elgey 3
Knights: 1 Brendan Elliot, 2 Ken Sio, 3 Dane Gagai, 4 Peter Mata’utia, 5 Nathan Ross, 6 Brock Lamb, 7 Jaelen Feeney, 8 Daniel Saifiti, 9 Danny Levi, 10 Josh Starling, 11 Sione Mata’utia (c), 12 Sam Stone, 20 Josh King; Interchange: 13 Luke Yates, 15 Joe Wardle, 16 Jack Stockwell, 17 Jacob Saifiti.
Tries: Stone; Goals: Lamb 2
A full review of all the weekend’s NRL action will feature in Monday’s edition of League Express