Knights v Titans: Five key points
Securing only their second win since Round 5, the Newcastle Knights reigned supreme over the Gold Coast Titans in their 30-2 victory, in a game where the Novocastrians' defence and experience ruled the roost.
Newcastle headed into this one having lost 11 of their past 12 games. Snapping a six-game losing streak, it was the side's defence which left the coach and captain pleased post-game.
"There's a heap of things which make up defence and each little bit of that is resiliency, confidence, intent, attitude – all those things. With every loss and scoreline we've had, it was just chipping away at our confidence every game," Knights captain Kurt Gidley said.
"For this one though we worked well in building some of that back, certainly the confidence part. We'll take plenty of positives out of this one. We just wanted to compete for each other. It was the last thing we talked about before the game."
Titans lack fundamentals
16 errors and 33 missed tackles isn't the greatest result in any game but considering the Titans only had 40 per cent of the ball and completed only 54 per cent of their sets in that time, it was always going to be a grim outcome.
With their loss, their fourth-straight, the Titans sunk closer to the bottom rung of the Telstra Premiership with the Knights leaping them. An unlikely Tigers win on Sunday means the Titans will end Round 19 on the bottom rung of the ladder.
Knights question Myles' knees
Plenty argued on social media whether Nate Myles should've been sent off for what looked like a possible knee drop on Gidley, but considering it didn't earn the ire of referee Gavin Badger, the Titans captain certainly has an interesting wait on his hands.
Considering it's been almost 700 days since somebody was sent off – Kade Snowden against North Queensland in 2013 – perhaps it wasn't worthy, but it didn't mean Knights coach Rick Stone and Gidley were happy with how it was dealt with.
"I'd be interested to see what the judiciary thinks of it and what the NRL report says of the incident. Even though it wasn't put on report, they'll have to have a look at it," Stone said.
Gidley added: "It's a penalty at least surely in the game. If we're trying to look after players now, and sure I'm fine, but at the least I thought it was a penalty."
Experience ranks over youth for Newcastle
Eyebrows were raised when Chris Houston and Clint Newton were picked ahead of young guns Joe Tapine, Sam Mataora and Paterika Vaivai – and perhaps the Knights' best players in the past few weeks – but coach Stone said it was a matter of the veteran duo's experience in defence that won them their spots.
"I thought Newton's experience and particularly his ability to be tidy defensively was an important ingredient to his selection," Stone said.
"We have a couple of younger blokes there like Joe, Sam and Pat [Vaivai] that are finding their way a little bit so we went the way we did."
Thoughts with Gagai
Spare a thought for Knights centre Dane Gagai.
Reportedly sent to hospital at half-time with an irregular heartbeat, Stone offered somewhat of an insight into what went on in the interval.
"I'm not even quite sure exactly what he's left with. Talking to the docs, he's gone to hospital and he'll obviously go under some observation there. We'll know a little bit more about Gags when that information comes through," he said.
"I don't think [he collapsed]. The physio came and told me Gags wasn't going back on – that he wasn't feeling well, he might have a virus and he was getting some dizzy spells out there so he obviously didn't return in the second half and that's about where I'm at the moment."