Time to look ahead to Sunday's decider! Rob Crosby has a full look at both teams and what to expect ...
8 hours ago
The Gold Coast Titans have won two games in-a-row for the first time since 2010 after pulling off an upset to defeat the Newcastle Knights 24-14 in front of 15,792 fans at Hunter Stadium.
Boosted by the return of five-eighth Scott Prince, the Titans were able to achieve successive victories for the first time since 2010.
However, the Titans were not always on top, it was all the Knights in the opening minutes, with Akuilla Uate opening up the scoring in the sixth minute. Tyrone Roberts missed the conversion keeping the Knights' lead at four.
After a slow passage of play, the Titans finally hit back in the 19th minute through Matt Srama after the Titans were awarded their first penalty of the match. Prince added the extras to give his side the lead.
The Titans were right on the attack again moments later after a bust from Mark Minichiello and some quick passes out to right wing saw David Mead score in the 22nd minute. Prince failed to convert from the side line.
The Newcastle defence were caught napping again in the 37th minute, after Nate Myles muscled his way over the line on the back of an error from Roberts. Prince added the extras.
A half-time drilling from super-coach Wayne Bennett did not appear to have the desired effect on the home side as they fumbled their way through the opening bouts of the second half.
The Titans finally made the Knights pay for their mistakes in the 52nd minute with Greg Bird slicing through the Newcastle Knights defence to score his four-pointer. Prince added the axtras to put the Titans 18 points in front.
Strong runs from Willie Mason and Jarrod Mullen in the 67th minute saw the Knights finally gather some momentum before Roberts scored. Roberts failed to convert his try, leaving the Knights trailing by 14 with just over 10 minute left in the match.
Hospital passes and poor last tackle options from the home side, saw them fail to capitalise on the momentum shift until the 76th minute when Alex McKinnon went over. Roberts converted the try, to put the Knights within eight-points of the lead.
Any last hope of a Knights' victory died in the 78th minute after Mason knocked on just short of halfway. The Titans received a penalty in their following set and Prince had no problem increasing his side's lead to 10 as the full-time siren sounded.
While Titans were solid this evening they will need to step it up a notch next week when they host the North Queensland Cowboys.
As for the Knights, they face an even more daunting task next weekend when they travel to Brisbane to take on the Broncos.
Newcastle Knights 14 were defeated by Gold Coast Titans 24
National Rugby League - Round 12 - Saturday May 26, 2012 5:30pm
Venue: Hunter Stadium
Referee: Shayne Hayne and Alan Shortall
Video Referee: Phil Cooley
Touch Judges: Dave Abood and Nick Beashel
Halftime: Newcastle Knights 4 Gold Coast Titans 16
Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:
3 Points - Greg Bird (1 Try)
2 Points - Scott Prince (4 conversions)
1 Point - Nate Myles (1 Try)
NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS (14)
Tries: Akuila Uate, Alex McKinnon, Tyrone Roberts
Conversions: Tyrone Roberts (1/3)
GOLD COAST TITANS (24)
Tries: Nate Myles, Greg Bird, David Mead, Matt Srama
Conversions: Scott Prince (3/4)
Penalty Goals: Scott Prince (1/1)
LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary Good evening folks and welcome to Hunter Stadium where the Newcastle Knights host the Gold Coast Titans.
Both sides enjoyed a break last round and should come into this match refreshed. The home side will be desperate for a win tonight after losing their last two matches, while the Titans will be looking to show their strong performance against the Dogs was not a one off.
The Titans are boosted by the return of their captain Scott Prince who replaces Jordan Rankin at halfback. Brenton Lawrence is also out of the side and will be replaced on the bench by Matthew White. The only other change for the Titans, is Luke Douglas starting at prop with Nate Myles shifting to the bench.
The home side have only announced the one change, Joel Edwards will start in the back row with Zeb Taia moving onto the bench.
1 min: We are under way at Hunter.
2 min: Both sides finish their opening sets cleanly.
4 min: Knights receive a penalty 30 out from their own line.
5 min: The Knights force a line drop out and will get another shot at the try line.
7 min: TRY
TRY! Jarrod Mullen throws a long pass out to Junior Sau, Sau draws in two defenders before passing to Akuilla Uate who scores in the right corner. Tyrone Roberts' conversion attempt is unsuccessful.
Newcastle Knights 4-0
8 min: Knights will get another piggyback up the field after the Titans are pinned for a high shot.
10 min: William Zillman diffuses a Roberts a grubber and David Mead knocks it on.
10 min: Sau throws a forward pass from 15 out and the Titans are off the hook.
13 min: Titans get a tackle count restart on halfway.
14 min: Timana Tahu diffuses a Scott Prince bomb in goal and the Knights are off the hook.
15 min: The Knights receive a penalty and will get a full set of six 35 out from the Titans' line courtesy of a huge kick for touch from Mullen.
16 min: Zillman cleans up another Roberts grubber and the Titans are off the hook.
16 min: The Titans receive a penalty.
20 min: TRY
TRY! Zillman makes a break 40 metres out from the Knights' try line, he passes to Matt Srama 10 out and Srama scores. Scott Prince adds the extras.
Gold Coast Titans 6-4
22 min: Titans are on the attack again after a break on halfway by Mark Minichiello.
24 min: TRY
TRY! The Titans spread it out wide through and David Mead scores in the right corner. Prince's conversion attempt from the sideline is unsuccessful.
Gold Coast Titans 10-4
30 min: Darius Boyd is pinned for a knock on in his own in goal.
31 min: Srama knocks on over the try line.
34 min: The Titans receive a penalty 30 out from their own line and should go on the attack again.
36 min: Roberts knocks on a Zillman grubber and the Titans will get a scrum 10 out from the Knights' line.
38 min: TRY
TRY! Nate Myles muscles his way over the try line and scores just to the right of the posts. Prince adds the extras from practically right in front.
Gold Coast Titans 16-4
40 min: Zillamn is tackled on half way as the referee blows the whistle to signal half-time.
41 min: The second half is under way.
41 min: Titans receive a penalty.
42 min: Aidan Sezer knocks on 15 out from the Knights' line.
44 min: Boyd knocks on a Prince bomb five metres out from his own line and the Titans will go on the attack again.
45 min: Luke O'Dwyer knocks on a metre out from the Knights' try line on tackle one.
47 min: The Knights will get scrum 30 out from their own line after Bird is tackled into touch.
48 min: The Knights receive a penalty 30 out from their own line.
49 min: Tahu throws a forward pass to McManus and the Titans are off the hook.
50 min: Titans receive a penalty 10 short of halfway.
51 min: Uate and Sau collide trying to clean up a Sezer grubber, Sau is down, and the Titans will receive a line drop out.
54 min: TRY
TRY! Greg Bird slices through the Newcastle defence and scores. Prince's conversion attempt is successful.
Gold Coast Titans 22-4
60 min: Uate loses the ball into touch on halfway.
60 min: Alex McKinnon takes an intercept on his own 40 and makes to 40 out from the Titans' line before being tackled.
61 min: Roberts puts up a chip-bomb on the last and Idris diffuses it easily a few metres out from his own line.
69 min: TRY
TRY! Mullen and Mason make some good runs and the Knights are right on the attack on tackle five. Roberts bursts through the Titans defence to score a few metres in from touch. Roberts misses the conversion.
Gold Coast Titans 22-8
73 min: The Titans will get a full set of six on half way after Mullen throws a hospital pass.
74 min: Prince's grubber is cleaned up by Roberts and the Knights are off the hook.
77 min: TRY
TRY! Mullen makes a break up the field and Alex McKinnon scores. Roberts adds the extras.
Gold Coast Titans 22-14
79 min: Mason knocks on and there goes the last chance of a Newcastle victory.
80 min: PENALTY GOAL
The Titans receive a penalty and opt to go for the two. Prince kicks it as the full-time siren sounds.
Gold Coast Titans 24-14