Newcastle hold on for important victory on the Coast

Newcastle have outscored the Titans four tries to three for an important 24-16 victory today at Skilled Park in front of 13,396 fans.



After some early errors from both sides, Newcastle was the first to make use of it through Zeb Taia who rocketed off a nice Mullen pass for the opening try. Gold Coast refused to lay down though after some nice attacking lead-up, with Ashley Harrison who forced his way over the line, with Rogers converting to level the scoreline after 17 minutes.

Brad Meyers got a rare four pointer after Con Mika dropped the ball on halftime, allowing the Titans to go upfield to put in a kick for Meyers to swoop on. Newcastle would land a double whammy though with James McManus and Junior Sau crossing for a 18-12 scoreline at the half.

Both sides had to improve their handling into the second half but it wasn't to be with Kayne Lawton injecting himself in his first game to send William Zillman over for a try making it two the difference because Rogers missed the conversion from the sideline.

Newcastle would kick further ahead though, with Jarrod Mullen landing an inch perfect 40/20, to give them a great attacking opportunity and they took it with Wes Naiqama crossing to increase their buffer.

They wouldn't make it easy for themselves though, continous errors allowed the Titans several opportunities to try and close the gap but they couldn't sealing an important two points for the Knights 24-16.

Match Details
Gold Coast Titans 16 were defeated by Newcastle Knights 24
National Rugby League - NRL - Round 16 - Sunday June 27, 2010 3:00pm
Venue: Skilled Park
Referee: Steve Lyons and Alan Shortall
Video Referee: Tim Mander
Touch Judges: Paul Holland and Gavin Reynolds
Crowd: 13,396
Halftime: Gold Coast Titans 12 Newcastle Knights 18

Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:
3 Points - Kurt Gidley (4 Conversions)
2 Points - Greg Bird
1 Point - Cory Paterson

GOLD COAST TITANS (16)
Tries: Ashley Harrison, Brad Meyers, William Zillman
Conversions: Mat Rogers (2/3)

NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS (24)
Tries: Wes Naiqama, James McManus, Zeb Taia, Junior Sau
Conversions: Kurt Gidley (4/4)

LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary An afternoon of high drama already at Skilled Park - if a one-point thriller in Toyota Cup (Titans 21-20) wasn't enough, ten minutes from fulltime the power to the entire ground was lost - scoreboards, clocks, radio and phone feeds. It has all been restored however and we're ready to bring you all the live action!
Team changes for this afternoon are only from the visiting side, the Titans have been cleared 1-17. Those changes for Newcastle centre around hooker Issac De Gois who drops out. Matt Hilder moves from lock to hooker and Mark Taufua comes into replace him at lock. 18th man Joel Edwards will join the bench.
The stadium management at Skilled Park are reporting that if power is to fail again and they are unable to restore it within ten minutes, they may be required to call the game off. Let's hope the men at the Titans have paid the power bill.
1 min: We're underway, a good first set from Gold Coast.
2 min: Ouch, Rogers makes an early error. Titans with the ball near halfway through a scrum now.
5 min: Another drop ball from the Knights, continuing on from their terrible handling last Monday night.
7 min: TRY
TRY Newcastle Knights
Scored by Zeb Taia. Conversion attempt by Kurt Gidley successful.
The Titans hot on the attack but their last option fails, Uate's got it! He's away. Some great link up play and Mullen finds Zeb Taia and the visitors open the scoring, well and truly against the run of play! Gidley converts.
Newcastle Knights 6-0
9 min: David Mead looks like he's got something happening with his left leg, not good for the Titans.
12 min: A bomb is put up by the Titans to pressure NSW captain Kurt Gidley but it's fielded superbly. The Knights have the task of working it out of their own end here and the task isn't easy, the Gold Coast defence has stepped up a notch since the try.
15 min: Campbell grubbers into the in-goal looking to force repeat sets but Uate has the ball and navigates his way back into the field of play. Ben Cross coming from the field rather early for Newcastle though...
17 min: TRY
TRY Gold Coast Titans
Scored by Ashley Harrison. Conversion attempt by Mat Rogers successful.
Ashley Harrison crosses for the Titans after some good lead up play. Rogers' conversion levels the scores. Both teams looking strong early.
6 all
21 min: Bird with a HUGE bomb and it's put James McManus under a heap of pressure but he's dropped it! Terrible handling and the Titans... can't get to it before it goes out. Drop-out Knights, Titans to attack again.
22 min: The Titans earn a penalty just a couple out from the line.
23 min: Nathan Friend's handling lets him down in front of the Knights line and the Titans squander the opportunity to take the lead.
25 min: Con Mika returns the favour as the Knights surge up over halfway, spilling the ball and the Titans will get another chance.
27 min: VIDEO REFEREE - possible try to the Gold Coast. Brad Meyers looks to have scored for the hosts. Looks likely, checking grounding.
28 min: TRY
TRY Gold Coast Titans
Scored by Brad Meyers. Conversion attempt by Mat Rogers successful.
A good little kick through enables Brad Meyers to plant the ball down with his first touch. Great stuff from the Titans! Rogers converts and the they take a six-point lead.
Gold Coast Titans 12-6
30 min: Some enterprising play from the Titans ends in a Preston Campbell knock-on, although the little general is adamant it comes off his knee. Knights to attack now!
31 min: TRY
TRY Newcastle Knights
Scored by James McManus. Conversion attempt by Kurt Gidley successful.
The Knights play the numbers to the wing and McManus benefits from an overlap to score for the visiting side! Gidley converts from the sideline and it's all square once again.
12 all
32 min: Oh dear, Matty Hilder has muffed the kickoff and the Knights will be forced to drop the ball out.
36 min: TRY
TRY Newcastle Knights
Scored by Junior Sau. Conversion attempt by Kurt Gidley successful.
Newcastle on fire here all of a sudden and it's Sa'u who scores for Newcastle. Gidley's got the conversion from out wide, the Knights go six in front!
Newcastle Knights 18-12
40 min: The Titans can't get to the ball to even the scores going into halftime. That's oranges.
HALFTIME at Skilled Park, the power is definitely on here - both sides are electrifying! The game has see-sawed so far and could go either way. Still a fair bit of drop ball but exciting footy nonetheless.
41 min: Play resumes at Skilled Park. Newcastle first set.
44 min: Anthony Laffranchi gives a penalty away, Newcastle's first of the game. They go on the attack.
45 min: Nothing doing on tackle five, Rogers' kick send the ball dead. Titans 20m restart.
47 min: The Gold Coast gifting Newcastle opportunities but the Knights yet to take advantage of any.
51 min: TRY
TRY Gold Coast Titans
Scored by William Zillman. Conversion attempt by Mat Rogers unsuccessful.
Kayne Lawton injects himself into the game and William Zillman will be the tryscorer here, Rogers can't convert though.
Newcastle Knights 18-16
52 min: Gold Coast muff the kickoff as well! Newcastle to attack.
58 min: Gidley does well to get it out of the in-goal despite some strong attention from the Titans defence.
60 min: A beauty of a kick from Jarrod Mullen and the Knights have a 40/20! Can they score here?
62 min: A forward pass then compounded by a penalty and Newcastle feeling decidedly unlucky after Mullen's brilliance got them in an attacking position. Titans work up-field off the back of the penalty.
64 min: A bomb from the Titans on tackle five and Campbell vs Gidley... Campbell's made contact with it to send it dead. Knights 20m tap.
67 min: TRY
The vocal band of Knights fans are celebrating, is their team on their way to back-to-back victories? Wes Naiqama bumps off Campbell to extend Newcastle's lead and Gidley adds another two. Eight the difference.
Newcastle Knights 24-16
68 min: Fantastic restart from Campbell, a short grubbering kickoff and it rolls ten metres and noone except him is there, he grabs it and the Titans are hot on the trail here!
70 min: A poor finish to the set from the Titans, equally good defence though from Newcastle. Wasted opportunity following Campbell's great tactic.
73 min: A massive chance to attack for the Gold Coast after would you believe... a scrum penalty!
75 min: Zeb Taia spills it near his own line! The Knights just keep giving the Titans chances here, although time is against the hosts...
77 min: The Titans' faithful are heading for the exits, they've really only got one more chance... no! A drop ball gives the Knights possession and the mass exodus of Skilled Park begins.
79 min: Newcastle turning on the razzle-dazzle here, Hilder kicks... and it's hit the ref! Knights scrum with territorial advantage there, they'll try to put the game away here from 10 metres out.
FULLTIMEThe Knights cannot find the line on fulltime, but they will walk away with the two points anyway, a great victory for this side looking to keep in touch with the top eight.

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