Full Time
3:00pm Sat May 18, 2024
Round 11 - Suncorp Stadium, Milton / Yuggera-Turrbal

Match Overview

The Newcastle Knights have fought back from a halftime deficit to defeat the Gold Coast Titans 28-24 in Magic Round.

Getting off to a fast start before conceding five straight tries to trail by 14 points at the break, the Knights managed to snatch their fourth straight win from the jaws of defeat when the bunker overruled a potentially game-clinching try to Brian Kelly in the dying moments.  

Returning to Magic Round after missing last year's festivities with a bye, the Knights maintained their winning momentum with Jacob Saifiti breaking through the opposition defence and finding David Armstrong (4th minute) in support for first points.

Hitting double figures moments later with Armstrong (9th minute) snaring his second with a solo effort close to the line, the Titans struck back with Sam Verrills threading a grubber into the in-goal for Klese Haas (15th minute) to pounce.

Levelling the scores at 10-all midway through proceedings courtesy of a left-side shift finished off by Alofiana Khan-Pereira (18th minute), a penalty for late contact allowed the Titans to hit the front after Jojo Fifita (25th minute) outleapt Greg Marzhew in the air.

In a moment of madness which saw Jackson Hastings concede a penalty with the Knights on the attack, the Newcastle halfback and Gold Coast centre Aaron Schoupp were sent to the sin bin with ten minutes remaining in the half.

The one-way flow of points continued, despite both teams being a man down, with Keano Kini (34th minute) racing away for his first try in first grade before Khan-Pereira (37th minute) snared his second to send the Titans to the sheds up 24-10.

Bradman Best failed to return to the field after halftime due to a hamstring injury, however his replacement Dylan Lucas made his presence felt with a strong run that resulted in Armstrong (47th minute) claiming a treble.

Narrowing the margin further when an error from Kini saw Brodie Jones (50th minute) claim a rare four-pointer, the Knights held their nerve defensively and grew in confidence as the half wore on. 

The Knights regained the lead through Saifiti (67th minute) with the bunker awarding a penalty try due to Moeaki Fotuaika illegally holding the NSW representative off the ball.

In a moment set to come under plenty of scrutiny in the days to come, the Titans appeared to conjure a miracle with Brian Kelly catching a chip kick from Tom Weaver to level the scores at 28-all; the bunker deemed upon review that Kelly knocked on in the field of play to keep the Knights ahead with four minutes remaining. 

The Titans had one final opportunity to snare victory with a scrum on halfway, however the Knights remained resolute to remain undefeated without Kalyn Ponga and move into the top eight for the first time this season.

Next week, the Titans will face the Broncos at Suncorp Stadium on Sunday afternoon, while the Knights will rest up during Indigenous Round with a bye.

3. David Fifita

Making plenty of impact with the ball (and putting in multiple kicks for good measure), the dynamic forward was strong in defeat.

2. David Armstrong

Bagging a hat-trick to continue his unbeaten start to life in first grade, the fullback was strong under the high ball.

1. Erin Clark

Providing plenty of energy upon an early introduction to the game, the underrated forward laid a strong platform for the Titans to capitalise upon.