The Gold Coast Titans have earned a thrilling 33-26 victory over Newcastle Knights on Saturday at Cbus Super Stadium, coming from behind with a first NRL try for AJ Brimson and a late field goal from Ashley Taylor to claim their fourth win of the season.
The Knights had been leading by eight points after a magnificent individual try by young superstar Kalyn Ponga, who took a pass from Ken Sio and ran 90 metres to touch down on 60 minutes and at that point the game looked safe for Nathan Brown’s side.
A try from Philip Sami and two goals from Michael Gordan had given the Titans an 8-0 lead after 23 minutes before the Knights hit back with Sione Matautia’s try. Brock Lamb converted and levelled the scores at 8-8 with a penalty goal three minutes later.
But the Titans took the lead again with centre Dale Copley touching down for a 12-8 lead with Gordon missing the conversion attempt.
When Moeaki Fotuaika was sin-binned for a professional foul early in the second half Newcastle prop Herman Ese’ese was able to touch down for the Knights’ second try and Lamb’s conversion gave them the lead.
But the Titans hit back again as Sami scored his second try and Ash Taylor took over the kicking duties and added the goal for an 18-14 lead.
But Sio put the Knights back in front and Lamb converted from touch for an 18-20 lead in what had become a thrilling game.
Ponga then demonstrated his magic and Lamb’s conversion gave the Knights what looked like a decisive eight-point lead.
But the Titans responded with winger Anthony Don scoring a converted try, cutting the deficit to two points, and Taylor then levelled the scores with a 68th-minute penalty.
He missed another chance to put his side ahead with a penalty, but on the next set Brimson crossed out wide, Taylor converted and then sealed the Knights’ fate with a late field goal.
Titans: 1 Michael Gordon, 2 Anthony Don, 3 Dale Copley, 4 Brenko Lee, 5 Phillip Sami, 6 Alexander Brimson, 7 Ash Taylor, 8 Jarrod Wallace, 9 Nathan Peats, 15 Max King, 10 Ryan James, 12 Keegan Hipgrave, 13 Jai Arrow Interchange: 14 Mitch Rein, 16 Jack Stockwell, 17 Moeaki Fotuaika, 18 Bryce Cartwright
Tries: Sami 2, Copley, Don, Brimson; Goals: Gordon 2, Taylor 4; Field Goal: Taylor
Knights: 1 Michael Gordon, 2 Anthony Don, 3 Dale Copley, 4 Brenko Lee, 5 Phillip Sami, 6 Alexander Brimson, 7 Ash Taylor, 8 Jarrod Wallace, 9 Nathan Peats, 15 Max King, 10 Ryan James, 12 Keegan Hipgrave, 13 Jai Arrow; Interchange: 14 Mitch Rein, 16 Jack Stockwell, 17 Moeaki Fotuaika, 18 Bryce Cartwright
Tries: Matautia, Ese’ese, Sio, Ponga; Goals: Lamb 5
For reports from all the weekend’s NRL action, see Monday’s edition of League Express