THE Knight have entered the winners circle for the first time in 335 days.
Here are the five things we learned from Newcastle’s 36-24 win over the Titans.
1 — THE Gold Coast’s backs depth is going to be greatly tested over the coming weeks. In a major blow, winger Anthony Don (pectoral) and Jarryd Hayne (ankle) joined a lengthy injury list for the backs, which already includes Dan Sarginson (knee), John Olive (pectoral), William Zillman (calf) and Daniel Vidot (groin). Nathan Davis meanwhile has not been spotted at the club’s training facilities for the last two weeks as he seeks a release.
Jarryd Hayne was injured in his side’s loss to the Knights.
2 — ALL the focus pre-game was on superstar fullback Jarryd Hayne. But the former Eel did not get the opportunity to silence his critics. He lasted just 27 minutes before an ankle injury ended his day early. Before this he was an obvious target for the Knights with Nathan Brown’s men limiting all of Hayne’s chances to produce anything in attack. Maybe next time.
3 — THE Titans had every excuse to lose Saturday’s game, playing with a one-man bench from the 36th minute. But even with those excuses, fearless leader Ryan James and young playmaker Ash Taylor did everything they could to try to stop that from happening. The two were the Gold Coast’s guiding lights. James ran for 134m and made 45 tackles in an inspiring 80-minute performance while Taylor was on fire in attack, setting up three tries for the away side.
4 — IT was a rough day for young winger Tyronne Roberts-Davis to make his debut, but there was plenty to like about the teen speedster. With the Titans’ back stocks depleted, it would have been a relief for fans to see Roberts-Davis in action. He was not afraid to get involved in the match and even managed to come away with a four pointer for his efforts after cousin Tyrone Roberts produced some fancy footwork to put Roberts-Davis over in the first half.
5 — YOU have to give it to Newcastle — that was a great victory for their first win in 336 days. The injury-hit Titans kept coming at them but there was nothing that was going to stop the Knights from winning. Trent Hodkinson said at halftime that they too often let teams back into the match. In that final forty minutes, there was not a person in the red and blue who was going to let that happen again.