The Gold Training Titans NYC side have registered their first win for season 2017 with a 44-40 victory over the Knights at McDonald Jones Stadium.
The victory was set-up in the first half with four unanswered tries in the opening 16 minutes laying the platform.
Coach Ben Woolf had to re-shuffle his side after Tyronne Roberts-Davis was called into the NRL side with Jordan Birch the man to come into the starting side on the left wing.
It didn’t take long for the young Titans to open the scoring through the late inclusion, Birch. Off the back of a penalty that put them inside Knights territory and with that came points. It was AJ Brimson who benefited from an offload that he was then able to turn into a break. From there, the halfback dropped the ball under to Birch who went over to score. Ethan Roberts converted from the sideline, giving the side a 6-nil lead after four minutes.
A second try was registered in the 11th minute through centre Daniel Brownbill but it was Roberts who provided the opportunity. The five-eighth went to the line and tipped the ball on to Brownbill who ran a great line, stepped inside the fullback and went over to score. Roberts converted to make the score 112-nil.
The momentum was all with the Titans with a third try being scored two minutes later. Again, Brownbill was the benefactor of some slick play before bagging his second try of the match. Roberts had definitely packed his kicking boots, knocking the conversion over, with the score now 18-nil.
A fourth try was scored in the 16th minute and this time it was a last tackle option to run the ball rather than kick that led to the four-pointer. A shift to the right that went through the hands and right winger Kody Parsons went over to score. Roberts again converted, 24-nil.
Back to back penalties gave the Knights their first real opportunity and they managed to turn it into points. It was back rower Eddy Tuilotolava who chose the spot defenders and was too big and strong, crashing over with two young Titans unable to stop him. Kainoa Gudgeon had the kicking duties and converted, closing the gap to 24-6 after 24 minutes.
The Titans proved the Knights try was just a slip in application, with AJ Brimson scoring the fifth try for the side three minutes later. The crafty halfback used his speed and agility, stepping off his left foot twice within five metres, bypassing defenders and going over to score. Roberts made it five from five with the boot, 30-6.
An error from the Knights deep inside their own territory gave the Titans one more opportunity before the half-time break and they didn’t disappoint. Fullback Tre Williams chimed in, in the backline and turned on the afterburners, before flicking the ball out to Parsons who scored his second of the morning. Roberts couldn’t convert from out wide with the visitors going to the sheds up 34-6 at the break.
The Knights needed to start the second half better and they did that, with back rower Zac Hosking scoring in just the third minute of the second stanza. Gudgeon converted with the scoreboard now reading 34-12.
Penalties were hurting the Knight and gifting the Titans field position and as we’d seen all match, the Titans were able to turn it into points. On this occasion, Brimson charged on to it like a forward and wrestled with the defence over the line before scoring. Roberts pushed the conversion attempt wide with the score now 38-12.
The comeback was on from the Knights and the Titans were reeling in defence. Back to back tries put some nerves through the camp with four-pointers being scored by prop forward Cameron King and then five-eighth Jack Johns. Gudgeon converted both tries and the scoreboard read 38-24 with 16 minutes remaining.
It was a much needed try four minutes later with prop forward Moeaki Fotuaika jumping into dummy-half and crashing over next to the left upright. Roberts converted, score now 44-24.
The Knights scored three tries through Matt Cooper Kurtis Dark and Gudgeon in the final eight minutes of play but it was too little, too late, with the Titans proving too strong, winning 44-40.
TITANS 44 (Brownbill 2, Parsons 2, Brimson 2, Birch, Fotuaika Tries; Roberts 6 Goals)
KNIGHTS 40 (Tuilotolave, Hosking, King, Johns, Cooper, Dark, Gudgeon Try; Gudgeon 6 Goals)
At: McDonald Jones Stadium, Newcastle