Edrick Lee scored five tries and fellow Knights winger Dominic Young bagged a hat-trick in a night of records and drama in Newcastle as Titans prop Jarrod Wallace was sent off in his side's 38-12 loss.
Lee set a Newcastle try-scoring record as the Knights romped to a comfortable victory with many of the club's greats on hand to celebrate Beanie for Brain Cancer round.
The 70th minute dismissal of Wallace for a lifting tackle further soured a dismal night for the Gold Coast, who were outgunned from the start and trailed 22-0 at halftime.
Jarrod Wallace has been sent from the field
Both sides finished the match with 12 men after Newcastle prop David Klemmer was sinbinned for reacting to Wallace's tackle on Knights rookie Simi Sasagi.
The scoreline could have been bigger if Anthony Milford or Tex Hoy had their kicking boots on, as the Newcastle pair converted just three of their side's eight tries in the absence of star fullback Kalyn Ponga.
Match: Knights v Titans
Round 16 -
Venue: McDonald Jones Stadium, Newcastle
- The first half was all one way traffic and the Knights took charge early after winger Dominic Young scored off a cross-field kick from halfback Adam Clune in the 10th minute.
- It was left winger Edrick Lee's turn to score next nine minutes later after Clune combined with five-eighth Anthony Milford, who threw a cut-out pass for the former Queensland Origin winger to cross in the corner.
- Lee got his second try in the 23rd minute after a perfectly timed face pass from Clune cut out centre Dane Gagai and the Dophins recruit dived over in the corner.
- Not to be outdone, Young achieved his double four minutes later with a stunning put down in the corner after Clune and Milford again combined before the latter threw a long pass for the 20-year-old to score.
The Newcastle wingers are having a field day
- The Knights went to the halftime break with a 22-0 lead after centre Enari Tuala intercepted a Tino Fa'asuamaleaui pass and raced 60 metres before being pulled down short of the line.
- With just seconds remaining on the clock, Clune kicked across field for an unmarked Lee to score as the halftime siren sounded.
Enari Tuala with the intercept
- The Titans best period of the game was after the halftime break and briefly there was the possibility of a comeback as fullback AJ Brimson scored in the 52nd minute and winger Greg Marzhew followed five minutes later.
- However, Lee's fourth try swung the momentum back in Newcastle's favour in the 64th minute and he broke the club's try-scoring record with his fifth nine minutes later.
Edrick makes history
- In between Lee's last two tries, the Titans lost prop Jarrod Wallace after he was banished for a lifting tackle and both teams were reduced to 12 men after David Klemmer was sin-binned for retaliating.
- Young sealed the win and completed a magic night for Newcastle when he picked up a loose pass and raced 85 metres to complete his hat-trick two minutes from fulltime.
Play of the game
Adam Clune had a hand in nearly everything the Knights did but his vision to lay on the final try of the first half and extend their lead to 22-0 as the siren sounded was all class.
Three for Lee
What they said
“The last couple of minutes, when the game was put to bed, I was looking across at the stadium and thinking about them (the Newcastle fans) and I’d like to think that they’re proud of their team tonight and they can go home a bit happier. It’s only one game but to answer your question, it’s a much better feeling than what we’ve had to do.” - Knights coach Adam O’Brien.
Knights: Round 16
“It was awful. We were beaten by the opposition obviously convincingly in the first half, and we had a good crack at the start of the second – really happy with the way we came out and responded, slowly getting ourselves back in the game – but then we conceded a so-called try and it went the same way again.” – Titans coach Justin Holbrook.
Titans: Round 16
The Knights host the Rabbitohs next Saturday night, while the bye gives the Titans 15 days to prepare for their derby clash with the Broncos at Cbus Super Stadium.
Newcastle coach Adam O'Brien is hoping to welcome back hooker Jayden Brailey for his first match of the season after rupturing his Achilles in January, but utility Kurt Mann failed to finish the match against the Titans due to hamstring tightness.
Mitch Barnett lost several teeth but returned to the field after passing a HIA and may require some dental work before the game against Souths.
Gold Coast coach Justin Holbrook is likely to have experienced second-rower Kevin Proctor at his disposal after the former Kiwis international was named in the 19-man squad but didn't play against the Knights.
Corey Thompson was 18th man after overcoming a knee injury.