Knights hang on to beat Titans 13-12 - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Knights hang on to beat Titans 13-12

By David Beniuk 03/05/2008 07:43:12 PM Comments (0)

Newcastle's forgotten man, Jarrod Mullen, sent a timely reminder to NSW State of Origin selectors, starring in the Knights' thrilling 13-12 upset of the table-topping Gold Coast at EnergyAustralia Stadium.

The Knights halfback, who played the Origin series opener for NSW last year, scored a superb individual try, set up another and potted the decisive field goal as the home side grimly held off a furious second half fightback from the Titans.

The match finished at two tries apiece with Mullen and Wes Naiqama scoring for Newcastle in the first half and Scott Prince and Mark Minichiello crossing for the visitors in the second.

Kurt Gidley booted two goals for the Knights while Prince kicked two for the Titans.

Newcastle led 12-0 at halftime before the Titans applied the second half pressure - but it still took the visitors until the 61st minute to get over the line.

Video referee Russell Smith had denied them in the 50th when he ruled forward Gavin Cooper had been held up.

Smith ruled no-try again in the 60th when Titans centre Luke O'Dwyer failed to ground a Prince grubber.

The Knights were hanging on grimly as the repeat sets kept piling up for the Titans but they couldn't stop Prince's solo effort in the 61st and the visitors had pulled it back to 12-6.

Mullen made the buffer seven in the 69th minute but the Titans weren't done and Minichiello crashed over in the 72nd.

It took a heroic bomb defuse from outstanding fullback Kurt Gidley and some ball-dislodging defence from winger James McManus for the Knights to hang on as Prince missed his own shot at a one-pointer.

Newcastle went into the game without skipper Danny Buderus, the only player in the match who failed to back up from Saturday night's City-Country clash, but his replacement Matt Hilder had a blinder against his former club.

Mullen's first half had been sublime.

His chip kick in the 20th minute led to a controversial try for Naiqama, who outleapt the Titans defence but appeared to get a touch forward before Smith awarded the four-pointer.

Mullen took the Knights further ahead in the 35th minute when he sliced through from 20m out after second-rower Chris Houston had popped a ball out the back.

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