Andrew Pelechaty reviews the first game of Super Saturday, with the Titans hosting the Knights. Here’s how the game went.
Tries: Kevin Proctor (1), Patrick Herbert (7, 62), David Fifita (21, 31, 51), Corey Thompson (26, 60)
Goals: Jamal Fogarty (2, 9, 22, 61, 63)
Tries: Chris Randall (12), Starford To’a (36), Kalyn Ponga (68)
Goals: Kalyn Ponga (13, 37)
Player of the Year PointsEmbed from Getty Images
3 pts – David Fifita (Gold Coast Titans)
2 pts – Corey Thompson (Gold Coast Titans)
1 pt – Brian Kelly (Gold Coast Titans)
MATCH REPORTEmbed from Getty Images
After a competitive performance against the Raiders last week, the Titans returned home to Robina (on a typically sunny and warm Autumn day) and scored in the first minute through Kevin Proctor, after Newcastle put the kick-off out in the full.
There was bad news for the Titans, with Phillip Sami going off with a HIA and Tyson Frizell put on report. The Titans quickly rebounded, with Patrick Herbert scoring in the right corner. With Jamal Fogarty’s conversion, the Titans were beating the clock with a 12-0 lead after nine minutes.
Newcastle got a rare early chance while the Titans knocked-on from the restart; Connor Watson burrowed over on the next set, but he was held up. The Kings got a repeat set and cashed in, with Chris Randall scoring his first NRL try. The returning Kalyn Ponga converted.
The Knights’ already horrific injury toll got worse when Randall went off with a broken arm. Rugby league can be a cruel, cruel games sometimes.
The Titans made it three tries in 21 minutes when David Fifita crashed over. Fogarty converted to give the Titans an 18-6 lead.
It was four tries in 26 minutes Corey Thompson grounded a clever little Brian Kelly kick in the left corner. While Fogarty missed the conversion, the Titans still held a comfortable 22-6 lead.
Fifita scored his second try five minutes later, monstering poor old Ponga on a 20-metre run to the line.
Newcastle had a prime chance late in the first half, when Herbert was sin-binned for holding down Enari Tuala close to the line. The Knights went right, with Starford To’a scoring in the corner (after being examined and approved by the Bunker). Ponga nailed the sideline conversion to reduce the deficit to 26-12 and give the Knights some hope, despite the Titans’ dominance.
HALF-TIME: Gold Coast Titans 26 Newcastle Knights 12Embed from Getty Images
Ponga sparked the Knights early in the second half, breaking 30 meters out, passing to Mitchell Barnett, who offloaded to Brodie Jones, who passed to Tuala to score. However, Kelly held up Tuala to save the try: an incredible try-saver and one that could break the Knights’ back.
Fiftia’s third try put the game away a few minutes later, with a 40-metre run for his hat-trick: a terrifying sight for the poor old Knights’ defenders.
Thompson had a chance to score the Titans’ seventh try, but it was called back for a marginal forward pass.
Newcastle nearly scored through Daniel Saifiti, but it was knocked on.
Thompson made up for his earlier denied try with his second legal try, stepping back inside from 20 out as the Titans went down the left.
The Titans were in party mode with a second try to Herbert, after a long-range break from AJ Brimson, for a 42-12 lead. It was the Titans’ highest score at Robina.
After a hard day defensively, Ponga got some of his own back with a consolation try in the left-hand corner.
Kelly nearly scored, but knocked-on in the in-goal.
The Titans move onto Mudgee’s Glen Willow Oval next Saturday afternoon, with another winnable game against Manly Warringah, while the Knights return home next Friday night to play Cronulla-Sutherland.
FULL-TIME: Gold Coast Titans 42 Newcastle Knights 16
Chris Randall (Knights) – suspected broken wrist
Phillip Sami (Titans) – failed HIA
Match Review Committee