The NYC Newcastle Knights beat the Gold Coast Titans 36-24 at Hunter Stadium on Saturday afternoon to keep their finals hopes alive.
It was a bright start for the young Knights, as a short kick off fell in their favour to give them great early field position. While two penalties soon after gave the young Novocastrians even more of an advantage, the Titans held firm in defence to keep the Knights scoreless.
Two minutes later the away side were up the other end, and halfback Josh Ralph collected a neat offload to run 20 metres and score. Halves partner Josh Rogers converted, but the Knights were back in it with 13 minutes on the clock when Cory Denniss latched onto a bomb to score.
The away side scored again nine minutes later, winger Fred Keil breaking out of a tackle out wide to run 30 metres and score. Soon after the Titans were over for their third, Ralph getting a lucky bounce from a chip to beat Nick Meaney and gain another four points.
The young Knights got back into the game three minutes from half time, Tom Starling dinking through a grubber for Kainoa Gudgeon to score in the right corner. Robson did well to convert, pushing the half time score to 16-10.
A strong start to the second half saw the Knights score five minutes in, prop Cameron King carrying three defenders over the line to get the ball down. Robson missed the conversion to leave the red and blues two points behind the Titans, but six minutes later the Knights were over again when Denniss made a break and passed out wide for Sam Stone to score.
It only got better for the Knights in the 55th minute, as Zac Hosking broke through the line and produced a nice offload for King to get his second. Nick Newman took over kicking duties and converted from straight in front, pushing the score to 26-16.
The Titans finally kicked back into gear with 16 minutes left on the clock, Christian Mika seizing on a dropped ball from Denniss to run 30 metres and score. Rogers missed the conversion from out on the sideline, and five minutes later Matt Soper-Lawler got a try from dummy-half to push the Knights’ lead back out to ten points.
Two minutes from time the Titans pegged one back via Keil, and Rogers missed the conversion.
It was the Knights that got the last say of the match though, Jack Cogger diving beneath the uprights seconds before full time to make the final score 36-24.
Newcastle Knights 36 (T: Denniss, Gudgeon, King 2, Stone, Soper-Lawler, Cogger; G: Robson 2/5, Newman 1/1, Amey 1/1)
Gold Coast Titans 24 (T: Ralph 2, Keil 2, Mika; G: Rogers 2/5)
1. Nick Meaney, 2. Kainoa Gudgeon, 3. Cory Denniss, 4. Henry Penn, 5. Matthew Soper-Lawler, 6. Nick Newman, 7. Jack Cogger, 8. Tyrone Amey, 9. Tom Starling, 10. Jayden Butterfield, 11. Zac Hosking, 12. Sam Stone, 13. Braden Robson. Interchange: 15. Heath Gibbs, 16. Cameron King, 17. Jamayne Taunoa-Brown, 19. Jake McNamara.