A good night for the North Queensland Toyota Cowboys in Townsville, outlasting the Vodafone Warriors...
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The Knights have held out the Titans 23-18 at Energy Australia Stadium this afternoon after racing to an 18-4 lead early on.
Video Referee Hampstead was called on seven times today, the last of which will be the most controversial, denying the Titans what could well have been the match-winner.
Chris Walker opened the scoring for the Titans in the 14th minute, taking advantage of the first of a number of Knights kicks that went out on the full. He caught Aku Uate out of position and crossed in the corner.
The penalty-count was skewed the way of the Knights early on and they capitalised, scoring three tries in 8 minutes midway through the first half. Tries to Houston, Rogers and Taia with a hat-trick of Gidley conversions saw the Knights race to an 18-4 lead.
The Titans may have looked down and out at this stage but they had other thoughts. The penalty count evened up in the second quarter and so did the score. Kevin Gordon shimmied in from his wing, stretched out and dotted down in the dying seconds of the half. Prince's conversion brought the margin to two at the break.
Hampstead made the first of two contentious decisions from the box in the 47th minute. Walker won the sprint to a Prince kick and got his fingertips to the ball. However he was deemed to have knocked on rather than grounded the ball.
The Titans paid for gifting the Knights repeat sets, McManus grounding an accurate Mullen grubber in the 57th minute. Ten minutes later Mullen added a field-goal to put his side more than a converted try in front.
But the Titans were back within six when Prince converted a dubious penalty call, giving his team 5 minutes to come up with a match-winner.
Zillman looked certain to have achieved just that in the 78th minute. On second look however it became apparent that Junior Sau had been held back at marker and Hampstead decided to press the red button, effectively sealing the Knights' 6th win of the season.
Laffranchi and Walker will both face the judiciary this week for dropping forearms.
Next week in heritage round the Knights head to the SFS to face the Roosters, while the Titans face the Broncos at Suncorp.
Match Details Newcastle Knights 23 def Gold Coast Titans 18 Round 9 - Sunday May 10th, 2009 2:00pm Venue: Energy Australia Stadium Referee: Ben Cummins, Steve Lyons Touch Judges: David Abood, Daniel Eastwood Video Referee: Sean Hampstead Crowd: 11,258 Halftime: Knights 18-16 Newcastle Knights 23 Tries: Chris Houston, Ben Rogers, Zeb Taia, James McManus Goals: Kurt Gidley (3/4) Field Goals: Jarrod Mullen (1/1) Gold Coast Titans 18 Tries: Chris Walker, Luke Bailey, Kevin Gordon Goals: Scott Prince (3/4) LeagueUnlimited.com Player of the Match 3 Points: Kurt Gidley (Knights) 2 Points: Jarrod Mullen (Knights) 1 Point: Chris Houston (Knights) LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary Welcome to the coverage from EAS, apparently the rain has cleared and conditions are good. Not a huge crowd, likely due to this morning's torrential downpour.
MacDougall is out for the Knights, Lulia comes in, Mullen is on the bench and Ben Rogers starts.
For the Titans Tonga is out, Graham replaces him in the starting lineup.
KNIGHTS: 1. Kurt Gidley 2. James McManus 3. Junior Sau 18. Keith Lulia 5. Aku Uate 19. Ben Rogers 7. Scott Dureau 8. Mark Taufua 9. Isaac De Gois 10. Chris Houston 11. Steve Simpson 12. Zeb Taia 13. Matt Hilder Interchange: 6. Jarrod Mullen 15. Marvin Karawana 16. Richard Fa'aoso 17. Danny Wicks
TITANS: 1. Preston Campbell 2. Kevin Gordon 18. Josh Graham 4. Brett Delaney 5. Chris Walker 6. Mat Rogers 7. Scott Prince 8. Luke Bailey (c) 9. Nathan Friend 10. Michael Henderson 11. Anthony Laffranchi 12. Mark Minichiello 13. Ashley Harrison Interchange: 15. Brad Meyers 16. Luke O'Dwyer 17. William Zillman 19. Bodene Thompson
TAB Sportsbet Odds: Knights $1.60 Titans $2.30
Toyota Cup: Knights 24 Titans 22
League Unlimited Poll: Knights 83% Titans 13% Draw 4%
Mothers' Day Tip: Mum's picking the Knights
These sides have already met once this season, the Titans took that one 34-20 in round one.
1 min: Good first set from the Knights, Campbell has to bring it out from his in-goal.
3 min: Penalty Knights. Delaney was holding the head down in the tackle. Knights with the first attacking set.
4 min: Scrum Titans and they are let off through a Hilder knock-on.
7 min: It's been all the Knights so far but they have been unable to come up with anything, this time Dureau runs it on the last but he is shut down.
8 min: Penalty Titans and they will get their first chance to attack.
9 min: Campbell puts in a grubber under the posts but Gidley is there to clean up and the Knights will drop out.
11 min: Again Campbell grubbers and again Gidley cleans up, Titans will have another go.
12 min: This time it's Prince grubbering on the last, it's too heavy though and the Knights are off the hook.
13 min: Dureau has a good crack at a 40-20, it's out on the full though and the Titans will attack from a scrum.
14 min: VIDEO REF: Chris Walker dives over in the corner, just checking the grounding.
14 min: TRY Gold Coast Titans Prince dummys, gives it to Delaney, Uate comes in off his wing and Delaney gives it to Walker who sprints 10 metres untouched and dives over. Prince's conversion attempt comes up short. Gold Coast Titans 4-0
17 min: Scrum Knights, Delaney puts it down 40m out from his line.
18 min: Penalty Knights. It's for "spinning the head". Knights start again 10m out on attack.
19 min: TRY Newcastle Knights Dureau holds it, holds it and then gives a good ball to Houston who ran a great line at speed and saunters over with a grin on his face. Gidley adds two more from in front. Newcastle Knights 6-4
21 min: Penalty Knights. Laffranchi is on report, it looks like he landed on Taufua's head with an elbow, could be in trouble for that one.
22 min: TRY Newcastle Knights Once more the Knights take advantage of the penalty. Dureau gave a nice ball to Rogers, he busted through the line and went 40m to score under the posts, stepping Preston Campbell on the way. Gidley converts. Newcastle Knights 12-4
25 min: Penalty Knights. The Titans are filthy with that one and Prince has a word with the referee.
26 min: Gidley goes very close to grounding a rebounding grubber but Campbell gets there first and puts it dead.
27 min: Penalty Knights. They have another attacking set, starting 10m out.
28 min: Penalty Knights. Cummins says he'll put Delaney in the bin if he has to give another one.
28 min: VIDEO REF: Taia charges over the top of Laffranchi, did he ground it?
28 min: TRY Newcastle Knights Gidley gave a nice ball to Taia back on the inside, Laffranchi couldn't stop him and Taia twisted around to place the ball and extend the lead with an easy try. Gidley converts. Newcastle Knights 18-4
31 min: Rogers put in a little chip over the Knights defence, Gidley gets an awkward bounce but manages to hold on to it.
33 min: Scrum Knights 40m out from their line. The Titans are looking desperate, pushing a forward pass.
34 min: Penalty Titans. Prince kicks it down to the 20m and they finally have an attacking set.
35 min: VIDEO REF: Bailey crashed over, did he ground it?
35 min: TRY Gold Coast Titans Hampstead looked at it a number of times and decided on Ref's Call, Cummins gave the try. Prince converts. Newcastle Knights 18-10
38 min: VIDEO REF: Karawana has collected a Gidley grubber but may have lost it?
38 min: NO TRY. It looked like Rogers knocked it from his grasp as he went over.
39 min: Penalty Titans and they will have another go before halftime.
40 min: Scrum Titans 10m out for a Knights knock-on in the tackle, Knights fans wouldn't be happy with that call.
40 min: TRY Gold Coast Titans Prince threw a cut-out to Gordon, he stepped back inside and out, extended his left arm and placed it on the line. Prince kicks it from the sideline and they're within 2 at halftime. Newcastle Knights 18-16
We're off again and Bailey takes the first hitup for his Titans.
41 min: Prince puts his first kick dead, Knights restart on their 20m.
43 min: Penalty Titans. The markers weren't in line. Titans will attack from 30m out.
44 min: Prince's grubber comes back off the defence and they have 6 more. Bang! Big hit from Simpson on Meyers, Knights defence holding strong.
45 min: Scrum Knights. Walker knocked on out wide.
47 min: Here we go! De Gois puts in a big hit and the intensity has lifted.
47 min: VIDEO REF: Walker may have got his fingertips to it?
47 min: NO TRY. The call could have gone either way. Prince put in a kick from 40m out and the chase was on. Walker looked like he might have grounded it but must have knocked on.
50 min: Look out it's on! De Gois and Walker scuffle. Walker had the ball on top of De Gois in the tackle and threw out an elbow for which he is on report. Walker embarrassed by that earlier hit maybe? Not the best way to exact revenge. Penalty Knights.
52 min: The Knights bomb at the end of their set but the Titans come up with it.
54 min: The Knights look to be out of ideas in attack, they knock on and the Titans have it on halfway.
55 min: Scrum Knights. Taia put in a good hit on Campbell and dislodged the ball.
56 min: Penalty Knights 5m out on attack. Mullen put up a huge bomb, Gidley spilt it but Titans deemed offside.
57 min: VIDEO REF: McManus dives on a grubber in the corner.
57 min: TRY Newcastle Knights Mullen put in a nice grubber out wide, McManus bet Gordon to it with a dive and again the Titans pay for giving away a penalty. Cummins has an angry word to Prince about some back-chat. Gidley hooks the conversion attempt from the sideline. Newcastle Knights 22-16
61 min: The Knights now look confident on attack, the offloads are flowing.
62 min: Titans on attack, Prince hooks a kick back towards the posts but it rolls dead.
63 min: Dureau puts another kick out on the full, Titans will restart near halfway.
64 min: Penalty Titans. Prince broke the line, Gidley put in a good tackle on him but strips the ball too late.
65 min: Harrison goes charging over the line but is forced back, now Zillman knocks on and the Knights withstand another attack.
67 min: Scrum Knights. The Titans try to create something out wide but the Knights are up fast and force a knock-on.
68 min: FIELD GOAL Newcastle Knights Mullen takes one from 15m out right in front and puts the Knights more than a converted try ahead. Newcastle Knights 23-16
70 min: Mullen puts a kick out on the full under pressure, the Titans will have a chance on attack.
71 min: The set ends with a Friend kick straight to a grateful De Gois.
72 min: Prince puts another kick dead and the Knights restart on their 20m.
73 min: The Knights had repeat sets but Campbell came up with a strip and suddenly the Titans are on attack.
74 min: Penalty Titans. A Knights player was injured on the ground and Friend passed it into him, he will be pleasantly surprised to get that one his way.
75 min: PENALTY GOAL Gold Coast Titans The Titans decide to take the two and Prince obliges. Newcastle Knights 23-18
76 min: The Knights try a short kickoff but a courageous Campbell takes it well.
77 min: Prince tries a big bomb, Walker is called offside and Gidley grabs it. Mat Rogers strips the ball but there were two in the tackle.
78 min: VIDEO REF: Zillman has gone over!
79 min: NO TRY. Zillman dove over from dummy-half but Prince was deemed to have been holding the marker around the neck.
80 min: Mullen has put it out on the full and the Titans have 20 seconds.
That's it, the Knights have held on for a good win with a good piece of controversy at the death.