The Gold Coast Titans Gold Training under-20s season has started with a hard-fought 34-18 loss to the Newcastle Knights at Cbus Super Stadium this afternoon.
In hot conditions, the Knights took the early advantage scooting out to a 22-6 half-time lead before putting the game out of reach for the young Titans by posting two early second-half tries to lead 34-6 going into the final 30 minutes.
Despite the heavy deficit, the Titans composed their game and showed glimpses of brilliance with captain Jed Cartwright scoring two second-half tries to reduce the full-time deficit back to 34-18.
It was the Knights who opened the scoring in the third minute after a half-break created space for winger Matt Soper-Lawler to score in the corner and with Jake McNamara adding the extras, the away-side took an early 6-0 lead
The Titans hit-back in the following set with Ngangarra Barker collecting a pin-point Josh Rogers grubber to score under the posts to give Rogers’ an easy conversion to level the score at 6-all.
Back-to-back penalties gifted the Knights’ prime field-position and they took full advantage with a backline play resulting in Kainoa Gudgeon crossing in the corner for a 10-6 lead after 15 minutes.
The Knights extended their lead in the 22nd minute when halfback Jack Cogger put a deft cross-field kick for Soper-Lawler to collect and grab his second try of the afternoon before McNamara converted from the sideline to give the Knights a 16-6 lead.
The Knights finished the half in style with a scrum-play resulting in Gudgeon bagging his second try scoring in the corner. McNamara added the extras to give the Knights a 22-6 half-time lead.
The Knights started their second-half in similar fashion to the first with Soper-Lawler supporting a bust to grab his hat-trick in the first set of the half to give his side a 28-6 lead.
The Knights continued their dominance with halfback Cogger slicing through the defence to score adjacent to the posts to give McNamara an easy conversion to extend the lead out to a 34-6 lead after 45 minutes.
The Titans hit-back in the 60th minute through Cartwright who showed brute force to barge his way across the line before Tyronne Roberts-Davis added the extras to reduce the deficit back to 34-12.
The Titans continued to compete and posted points in the 64th minute after some solid lead-up play put Cartwright over for his second try before Roberts-Davis converted to reduce the full-time margin to 34-18.
The Titans will look to hit-back next week when they take on the Melbourne Storm at home next week.
Newcastle Knights 34 (M Soper-Lawler 3, K Gudgeon 2, J Cogger tries; J McNamara 5 goals) defeated Gold Coast Titans 18 (J Cartwright 2, N Barker tries; T Roberts-Davis 2, J Roger goals).