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MATCH REPORT | Gold Coast Titans 38-14 Newcastle Knights

The Titans overcome a big injury toll to key players to get a big win at home while the Knights continue to disappoint as the pressure builds.

MATCH DETAILS

The first two Titans tries came against the run of play off the back of Knights errors and some very poor scramble defence. Danny Levi threw a bad pass to Connor Watson in the 19th minute and the Titans scooped it up and got it to Phillip Sami to run 55m to score the opening try. It was only a few minutes later when Daniel Saifiti couldn’t hang onto the ball and it went to ground again. The home team picked it up again and Tyrone Roberts threw a dummy and cut through some weak defence to score another long-range try. Just before half time the Titans were attacking the line again and Brian Kelly easily scored another to give the Titans a 22-0 lead at half time.

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The second half started pretty much the same way. Nine minutes in and deep in their own half Edrick Lee dropped an average pass from Kenny-Dowall and it led to Anthony Don scoring under the black dot. It took 55 minutes for the Knights to get their first points as Connor Watson summed it up well and put Hymel Hunt over for a try. It was only a few minutes later that they were able to cross again after a raid from close range led to a Mitch Barnett try after Tyrone Roberts tried to shadow a grubber over the dead ball line. The Knights kept fighting back through some individual brilliance from Kalyn Ponga got Newcastle their third try. With the game already decided, the Titans put the nail in the coffin with Tyrone Roberts putting a grubber in for himself to score his second try to cap off a great game from he Titans number six. We all thought that would be it, but the Titans weren’t done yet, with a beautifully executed play straight out of the Melbourne Storm playbook. Ash Taylor threw a cut out pass to Bryce Cartwright who immediately threw an inside ball to a rampaging Michael Gordon who cut through to score as the full-time siren sounded.

FOUR POINTERS

MORE INJURY WOES FOR THE TITANS

The Gold Coast were already missing AJ Brimson with a thumb injury, losing Keegan Hipgrave during the week and Ash Taylor not being 100% due to a quad injury that was expected to sideline him for a few weeks. This was compounded by losing Kevin Proctor just before kick off and then a big blow with Ryan James going down after 12 minutes with a suspected ACL. Despite the reshuffle the Titans were able to adjust well proven by their big win.

WHAT’S WRONG IN NEWCASTLE?

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With a side that has built their roster so well in the last couple seasons, the boys from the Hunter look to be in serious trouble. They just don’t look interested at all in defence and after many predicted a top four finish, they are now on a five game losing streak after winning only their opening game against Cronulla. They now sit second last on the ladder as the pressure is mounting on coach Nathan Brown.

TITANS COMING INTO FORM

After starting the season 0-4, many (myself included) wrote the Titans off and that was only reinforced by injuries to Taylor, Brimson, Proctor and now James. Hard to pinpoint exactly what happened to turn their early season slump around, but whatever Garth Brennan has done seems to have done the job because they are playing as a team with a point to prove. Tyrone Roberts has been fantastic since his return and his best game of the season was against his old club the Knights. Wish Taylor clearly still not at 100% the responsibility will fall onto Roberts, although he has proven many times he is more than capable.

WHERE TO NEXT?

Titans have Tigers (away), Cowboys (away), Sharks (away), Bulldogs (home) and Sea Eagles (away) as their next five as they look to keep their winning form up. This week will confirm Ryan James injury, but it looks as if he will be out for some time. They will welcome back Jarrod Wallace for the Cowboys clash to bolster their forward pack.

The Knights will no doubt have to make some adjustments at training and find out where it’s all going wrong before they start a much tougher five game stretch starting with the in form Eels (home) before matches against the Warriors (away), Bulldogs (away), Dragons (away) and Roosters (home)

THE RESULT

TITANS 38
Tries: Phillip Sami, Tyrone Roberts 2, Brian Kelly, Anthony Don, Michael Gordon
Goals: Michael Gordon 5/6

KNIGHTS 14
Tries: Hymel Hunt, Mitch Barnett, Kalyn Ponga
Goals: Kalyn Ponga 0/2, Mitch Barnett 1/1

SQUADS

GOLD COAST TITANS

1. Michael Gordon, 2. Anthony Don, 3. Tyrone Peachey, 4. Brian Kelly, 5. Dale Copley, 6. Tyrone Roberts, 7. Ash Taylor, 18. Moeaki Fotuaika, 9. Mitch Rein, 8. Shannon Boyd, 10. Ryan James, 12. Bryce Cartwright, 13. Jai Arrow
14. Phillip Sami, 19. Jack Stockwell, 16. Max King, 17. Jai Whitbread.

NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS

1. Kalyn Ponga, 2. Edrick Lee, 3. Hymel Hunt, 4. Jesse Ramien, 5. Shaun Kenny-Dowall, 14. Connor Watson, 7. Mitch Pearce, 8. David Klemmer, 9. Danny Levi, 10. James Gavet, 11. Lachlan Fitzgibbon, 12. Mitch Barnett, 13. Tim Glasby, 15. Herman Ese’ese, 16. Daniel Saifiti, 17. Josh King, 19. Jamie Buhrer.

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