Newcastle crack 50 with help from Titans

The Gold Coast Titans travelled to Newcastle to help the Novocastrians give their fans this season's first half century when the Knights made easy meat of some weak defence to smash the Titans 50-20.

The Titans started well and took a deserved lead very early on putting on a try in the fifth minute. The Gold Coast attack was very threatening and got full reward when Bird forced a kick return free from Uate to set up the play that pu Mead nto core the game's first points.

Determined to be gracious guests, Gold Coast gave Newcastle the opportunity to take the lead right back, conceding penalties to allow Newcastle on the attack. Newcastle capitalsed on the penalties utilising them for all their first half tries. The Titans conceded their first penalty in the tenth minute and points followed through McManus being put in to score, Gidley converted and scores were level.

Gold Coast conceded their next penalty in the 16th minute and again Newcastle points followed, this time through opposite winger Uate, Gidley failed to convert on this occasion making the Titans' path back into the game appear present.  This disappeared when they conceded another penalty and another Uate try ensued putting Newcastle ten points ahead.

Gold Coast were finally given some ball to play with and their attack looked like fighting for the game. n the 34th minute Prince created a solo try and converted to claw the deficit back to 4. Gold Coast conceded one more penalty in the half but for the first time did not allow points to ensue, finding their way to half time with Newcastle ahead by only 4 with a 16-12 lead.

The game was poised for a contest coming out of the half time interval, the Gold Coast defence however did not looking very flimsy through out the half to help Newcastle become the 2011 season's first team to crack 50 points in a match. Newcastle grabbed a hold of the second half early turning the opening play into James McManus's second try.

In the play the immediately followed the kick off, Gold Coast conceded yet another penalty to lead to another Newcastle try in the space of three minutes, this to Ciraldo who just strolled through to score. The Titans had their first touch of the football for the second half in the 48th minute but forgot how to hold on to the ball, dropping it twice before showing Newcastle to their try line. MacDougall accepted the invitation scoring a try in the 51st minute. 

Newcastle were quick to return the favour inviting Gold Coast to their try line with a penalty in the 54th minute. The Titans looked good in offence and Greg Bird claimed the try making a come back look possible however unlikely give the Gold Coast side's terrible defence.

A Gold Coast error ensured there was was no way back into the game for the Titans after the Knights went onto the attack collecting a Minichiello mistake. Following the error, Uate claimed his third try in the 61st minute and the Knights hit 40 points. The Knights proceeded to claim their 8th try soon after through Lulia.

In an effort to prove that their defence could be just as flimsy as the Titans', Newcastle conceded a very soft try in the 70th minute, when Bodene Thompson was allowed to stroll through to help the Gold Coast to 20 points for the match. Newcastle were six short of the half century but had to pursue them without captain Gidley who left the field 6 minutes early with a hamstring complaint.

Newcastle still had their own milestone to reach and did so in the final minute of the game, when Stig was asked to take over the goal kicking duties with Gidley off the field. Stig successfully converted the try scored by Costigan and Newcastle celebrated a 30 point victory defeating the Titans 50 points to 20.

More to follow ...

Match Details
Newcastle Knights 50 defeated Gold Coast Titans 20

National Rugby League - Round 21 - Sunday July 31, 2011 2:00pm
Venue: Ausgrid Stadium
Referee: Gavin Badger and Alan Shortall
Video Referee: Bernard Sutton
Touch Judges: Jason Walsh and Grant Atkins
Crowd: 17,327
Halftime: Newcastle Knights  Gold Coast Titans players of the match:
3 Points - Akuila Uate (3 Tries)
2 Points - Kurt Gidley (6 Conversions)
1 Point - Greg Bird (1 Try)

Tries: James McManus (2), Keith Lulia, Adam MacDougall, Neville Costigan, Cameron Ciraldo, Akuila Uate (3)
Conversions: Kurt Gidley (6/8), Ryan Stig (1/1)

Tries: Greg Bird, Scott Prince, David Mead, Bodene Thompson
Conversions: Scott Prince (2/4) Live Commentary Good afternoon and welcome to Ausgrid Stadium for League Unlimited's coverage of this round 21 clash between the Newcastle Knights and the Gold Coast Titans.  The Knights are fighting to holdon to a top 8 spot in the run to the finals whilst the Titans are fighting to avoid the dreaded wooden spoon.

The Toyota Cup curtain raiser was taken out by the Newcastle under 20s team who defeated the Titans 52-32.
TEAM NEWS For the Knights Tuimavave is out and MacDougall comes in. Karawana drops off the the interchange bench and Taufua, Ciraldo and Macdougall will start with Edwards and Lulia to begin the game off the bench. For the Titans just one superficial change, Campbell will start at hooker and Srama will come off the bench.
1 min:  Game on.
4 min:  Titans are looking the most likely in these early stages, forwards doing a wonderful job carting the ball up.
5 min:  Bird forces the ball loose from Uate and puts Titans right on the attack from ten out.
7 min:   TRY  
TRY to the Titans! Good effort from the Titans gets the ball out to Mead on the right flank to score in the corner. Superb boot from Prince nails the conversion.
Gold Coast Titans 6-0
8 min:  PENALTY to the Titans to help them within attacking range.
9 min:  Titans waste the opportunity with a cheap turnover.
10 min:  PENALTY to the Knights to piggyback them up field
13 min:   TRY  
TRY to the Knights, ball goes through several sets of hands before finding McManus to put it over in the left corner. Gidley curls the conversion attempt just enough to hit the upright and go in.
6 all
14 min:  Good set from Newcastle following the try and Mullen's boot helps the Ttans to a 20 metre restart.
15 min:  Knights hands play at a pass and knock it on giving Gold Coast a scrum 10 metres their own side of halfway.
16 min:  PENALTY to the Knights for a Henry high tackle to help Newcastle off their line.
19 min:   TRY  
TRY to thee Knights. A smart decoy play for the Knights finds Uate and puts him in to score. Conversion attempt from Gidley unsuccessful.
Newcastle Knights 10-6
22 min:  Momentum has really swung in favour of Newcastle who have capitalised on some Gold Coast ill discpline turning Titans penalties into a lead for the Knights.
24 min:  PENALTY against Minichiello as Gold Coast ill discipline continues.
26 min:   TRY  
TRY to the Knights! Innocuous bounce cruels the Titans as Uate collects it and goes in for his second. Conversion attempt from Gidley successful.
Newcastle Knights 16-6
30 min:  Titans looking good with ball in hand, making huge metres through their forwards, but defence is not backing this up, looking very ordinary.
32 min:  Gold Coast after another good attacking set were very desperate in defence and force De Gois in goal on the second play to force a line drop out.
36 min:   TRY  
TRY to the TITANS! Prince dummies to kick and bursts right through untouched to score near the posts. And Prince after taking his time converts his own try.
Newcastle Knights 16-12
37 min:  PENALTY to the Knights against Srama for being offside on a kick.
38 min:  Titans have managed to concede a try following the concession of a penalty for the first time in this match.
39 min:  Knights make a break down the left flank but can't keep t going and lose the ball giving the Titans a scrum feed.
40 min:  Last ditch efforts post siren from both sides come to nothing and that will be half time with the Knights leading the Titans 16 points to twelve.
41 min:  Game back on as Gold Coast kick off the second forty.
43 min:   TRY  
TRY to the Knights! Newcastle create a huge overlap on the left flank and rush out from inside their ow nhalf to put McManus in to score his second of the afternoon. Conversion attempt from Gidley successful.
Newcastle Knights 22-12
44 min:  PENALTY to the Knights and Gold Coast are in all sorts of trouble.
47 min:   TRY  
TRY to the Knights. Terrible defence from the Titans as Ciraldo goes in to score. Conversion from Gidley successful.
Newcastle Knights 28-12
48 min:  Gold Coast have their first use of the football for the half.
49 min:  Luke Bailey goes out there with determination but fails to keep a grip on the ball and Newcastle are gifted the ball.
50 min:  Mead knocks on trying to collect it out the back.
53 min:   TRY  
TRY to the Knights. Atrocious goal line defence from the Titans and MacDougall is in to score. Conversion attempt from Gidley successful.
Newcastle Knights 34-12
54 min:  PENALTY to the Titans for offside and Gidley holds up play with a long conversation with the referee.
56 min:   TRY  
TRY to the Titans! Greg Bird finds his way over the line to claw back at the deficit. Scott Prince just skews it to the right of the posts.
Newcastle Knights 34-16
59 min:  Lucky break for the Titans who appeared to have knocked it on, but it was Houston's hands which dropped it and a keen eye from the refs saves the Titans.
60 min:  Miniichiello pass is snapped up by Knights hands and Newcastle go rght on the attack.
63 min:   TRY  
TRY to the Knights. Uate bursts down the right flank and goes in for his third of the afternoon. Gidley converts.
Newcastle Knights 40-16
67 min:   TRY  
TRY to the Knights. Keith Lulia strolls through the Gold Coast line with ease and streaks to the try line to score. Conversion attempt from Gidley unsuccessful.
Newcastle Knights 44-16
71 min:   TRY  
TRY to the Titans! Gold Coast find their way through some pretty ordinary defence to put Bodene Thompson in to score. Conversion attempt from Prince unsuccessful.
Newcastle Knights 44-20
73 min:  Kurt Gidley looks to be in some trouble landing awkwardly from a tackle.
75 min:  Gidley has come off the field with under 6 minutes to play.
75 min:  PENALTY to the Titans 12 out from the Newcastle line.
76 min:  Laffranchi knocks on denying the Titans a great opportunity to score.
77 min:  PENALTY to the Knights.
80 min:   TRY  
TRY to the Knights. Mullen puts a late kick in at the line and Costigan flies through to collect it and score. Ryan Stig is given the goal kicking duties and adds the extras to help Newcastle to the half century.
Newcastle Knights 50-20
80 min:  Titans fail to reform their line before the hooter and that will be all she wrote with Newcastle taking the game 50-20.