Full Time
3:00pm Sat August 31, 2019
Round 24 - McDonald Jones Stadium - Crowd: 8274

Match Overview

The Newcastle Knights have temporarily kept their finals hopes alive with a thumping 38-4 victory over the Gold Coast Titans in Old Boys Day on Saturday afternoon.

The win takes them into ninth position on the ladder and just two points outside of the top eight. A win for Cronulla on Sunday against Canberra, however, would rule them out of finals contention. 

The 34-point victory essentially cancels out the damage done to their for-and-against in last week's loss to the Tigers. 

But it will certainly leave the faithful from the Hunter frustrated at why they couldn't replicate a similar effort in that game with so much on the line. 

Having only made 10 NRL appearances this year, Mason Lino pushed for the full-time gig as Newcastle five-eighth with a hand in three tries and just as many forced dropouts.

The signs weren't good early for the Knights as they conceded the opening points of the game.  There was little resistance as Ryley Jacks sliced through in the third minute. 

It was an opening as miserable as the conditions at Macdonald Jones Stadium, with just over 8,000 fans turning up but it proved a mere speed bump as Newcastle ran in the next four tries. 

The first saw Mitchell Pearce burst through a hole big enough to drive a truck through before Mitchell Barnett barged over 15 minutes later. 

Then the floodgates well and truly opened as an intercept from Lino ended with Hymel Hunt sprinting away down the touchline. 

Lino then put Barnett through again and Connor Watson backed up in support. All four conversions were successful in the second half, seeing the Knights lead by 20 at the break. 

They quickly extended the buffer as Bradman Best powered through on the edge for his first NRL try in his second top-grade game. 

Lino and Barnett came together once more as the latter popped a late offload for Sione Mata'utia to go over. 

The game then descended into a flurry of errors before Lachlan Fitzgibbon scored late to push the final difference out to 34 points.

Newcastle will need results to go their way if next week's clash with Penrith counts for anything. Meanwhile, the Titans host the Dragons as they look to snap a ten-game losing streak.

3. Mitchell Barnett

Power with every run and defended stoutly too.

2. Mason Lino

Plenty of involvement in attack and a polished kicking game close to the line.

1. Shaun Kenny-Dowall

Big metres from SKD all afternoon helping his side start their sets on the front foot, finishing with 179 running metres.