The Newcastle Knights ran out 20-18 winners at Cbus Super Stadium on Sunday night, breaking Gold Coast hearts with a late try from lock Jeremy Smith.
With Tyler Randell dropping off the extended bench, the unchanged Knights went into the half time break with a 14-6 lead before the Titans hit back in the second half to take an 18-14 lead.
Thanks to a colossal performance from Kade Snowden - who ran 192 metres and made 37 tackles - and a late second wind, the Knights continued their unbeaten start to the season.
James McManus slipped his way through the Titans defence in the 2nd minute, gaining 40 metres before he was hauled down by fullback Josh Hoffman.
The Knights continued to probe for the rest of the set, but Joey Leilua was unable to keep hold of the ball when pushing for the left corner.
The scrum went to the Titans, but Hoffman knocked-on when receiving and the Knights found themselves with a second chance.
Dane Gagai looked a sure favourite to score on the right edge, but was hauled out of play by a resolute Titans defence.
The Titans made the Knights pay for their wasted chances two minutes later, Anthony Don crossing over in the left corner on the back of a penalty.
Aidan Sezer did well to convert from the sideline, giving the Titans a 6-0 lead with seven minutes played.
The Knights went straight back on the attack, an excellent grubber from Leilua giving the Knights a repeat set as Hoffman was held up in-goal.
Enforcer Beau Scott received the ball from Tyrone Roberts in the following set to cross over untouched for his first try of the season. Roberts made no mistakes with the kick, pushing the score to 6-6 with thirteen minutes played.
The Knights scored a superb 50 metre try to Dane Gagai four minutes later, the right centre showing terrific footwork to throw off multiple defenders and score beneath the uprights.
The video ref awarded the Knights the try, ruling a prior touch from Sims went backwards before the ball eventually ended up with Gagai. Roberts again converted, giving the Knights a 12-6 lead with eighteen minutes played.
The Knights continued to press with energy and more cracks started to show in the Titans' defence as they conceded multiple penalties in quick succession.
The Knights were unable to make them pay though. With two minutes left on the clock however, Gagai again proved to be the difference, intercepting a pass and earning a penalty for his side that Roberts took to the tee. The Rosellas junior made no mistakes from 30 metres out, giving his side a 14-6 half-time lead.
The Titans came flying out of the gates in the second half, Sezer doing it all by himself when he collected the scraps from his own kick. The five-eighth again made the conversion, the score poised at 14-12 with 35 minutes to play.
With the score so close both teams shifted into a more conservative approach, kicking long and making ground through their big men up front.
The Knights looked to have scored via captain Kurt Gidley in the 55th minute, but video replays showed the ball was dislodged as he forced his way over the line.
The Titans continued to build momentum and in the 64th minute Sezer scored his second, collecting an off-load from Lachlan Burr to score in the middle. Sezer made it three from three with his conversion, giving the Titans an 18-14 lead with fifteen minutes left on the clock.
With time running out Titans halfback Daniel Mortimer kicked out on the full, gifting the Knights an easy start to their set 40 metres from the line.
A high shot on Sims soon after gave the Knights even more metres but they were unable to squeeze any points out of the opportunity.
Two minutes later Leilua looked certain to score when he busted through the left edge, but Hoffman covered brilliantly for his team and bulldozed the big centre over the sideline.
Jarrod Mullen was in the firing line soon after, Greg Bird collecting him from behind after he had passed the ball. Bird was placed on report for his late shot and Mullen was forced from the field.
Jeremy Smith proved the hero for the Knights however, with four minutes to play as he collected a Roberts pass to stroll over the line. Roberts added the extras, giving the Knights a 20-18 lead.
The Titans went short from the kick-off and looked ready to make a serious assault on the Knights' try-line, only for Queensland prop Nate Myles to throw a forward pass for Roberts to latch onto. Soon after the full-time siren sounded and the Knights kept their unbeaten run intact as they head home for round four at Hunter Stadium.
Newcastle Knights 20 (T: Scott, Gagai, Smith, G: Roberts 3/3, P: 1/1)
Gold Coast Titans 18 (T: Sezer 2, Don, G: Sezer 3/3)