Taylor brilliance edges Ponga genius as Titans down Knights
KALYN Ponga continued his sensational audition for a Queensland Origin jersey but Gold Coast rookie AJ Brimson was the hero as the Titans snapped a five-match losing streak on Saturday.
Brimson scored the match-winner in his second NRL game after the Titans defied the NRL's farcical penalty crackdown to beat Newcastle 33-26 at the Gold Coast's Cbus Super Stadium.
At one stage the Titans had just 11 players on the field after rookie Moeaki Foutaika and Origin prop Jarrod Wallace were sent to the sin bin for minor offences.
The Titans were at least one man down for 19 minutes but fought back in front of a crowd of 11,008 to record their first win since round five.
The Knights looked to be on the way to their sixth win of the season when Queensland Origin contender Ponga raced 95m to give Newcastle a 26-18 lead in the 62nd minute.
But tries to winger Anthony Don and five-eighth Brimson got the Titans back into the lead before halfback Ash Taylor iced the seven-point win with a 78th-minute field goal.
The Titans got on the board early through winger Phillip Sami and made their best defensive start of the year, not conceding until the 28th minute when Sione Mata'utia went over.
Newcastle's injection of prop Herman Ese'ese swung momentum but the Titans managed to take a 12-8 lead into the break after Taylor put Dale Copley in with a deft pass.
Any hope of the Titans making a quick start to the second half was dashed when teenage prop Fotuaika was sin-binned in the 42nd minute for a holding penalty, allowing Newcastle to edge ahead through a charging Ese'ese.
The 12-man Titans hit back when Sami bagged his second but they were briefly reduced to 11 when Jarrod Wallace was sent to the bin for a professional foul.
The Titans were brave while Wallace watched on, but they couldn't stop Ken Sio edging Newcastle ahead before Ponga's solo effort gave the Knights a 26-18 lead.
Don got the Titans within two then copped a high shot, allowing Taylor to level scores with a penalty goal in the 69th minute.
Brimson's try four minutes from full-time ensured the Titans recorded their second home win of the season.
GOLD COAST 33 (P Sami 2 A Brimson D Copley A Don tries A Taylor 4 M Gordon 2 goals A Taylor field goal) bt NEWCASTLE 26 (H Ese'ese S Mata'utia K Ponga K Sio tries B Lamb 5 goals) at Cbus Super Stadium. Referee: Chris Butler, Grant Atkins. Crowd: 11,008