Newcastle has recorded back-to-back wins for the first time in NRLW history following a 16-12 victory over the Titans at Cbus Super Stadium on Sunday.
A five-minute blitz from interchange hooker Emma Manzelmann provided the spark for the Knights with the Queensland product scoring a try and setting up Tamika Upton as the visitors held onto a 16-6 lead for most of the contest.
Both sides struggled with composure in attack in a concern for respective coaches Ron Griffiths and Karyn Murphy ahead of round three next week, but it was the Knights who prevailed defensively to come out on top.
Titans star Evania Pelite was at her dangerous best on the left edge but was well-handled by Shanice Parker, who set up Autumn-Rain Stephens Daly for Newcastle's opening try.
Match: Titans v Knights
Round 2 -
Venue: Cbus Super Stadium, Gold Coast
A strong effort from Zara Canfield to get the ball down in-goal from a Pelite kick got the Titans on the board six minutes later before Manzelmann's heroics put the Knights in front.
A brilliant no-look pass from Georgia Hale sent Steph Hancock over for the third try of her season but the Titans couldn't get over the line once more to cause the upset.
Super sub Manzelmann does it for the Knights
- Newcastle's win was just their second in NRLW history and first victory on the road.
- Both sides completed at 74% for the match with 21 errors overall.
- Titans trio Steph Hancock, Laikha Clarke and Brittany Breayley-Nati were all placed on report for incidents stemming from the game.
- Titans back-rower Zara Canfield was later sent to the sin-bin for a high shot on Tamika Upton with 90 seconds left on the clock with the incident to also come under scrutiny by the match review committee.
- Knights back-rower Yasmin Clydsdale left the field late after picking up a head knock.
- Emma Manzelmann's four-pointer was the first of her NRLW career while Tamika Upton crossed for her first in Knights colours.
- Zara Canfield crossed for the first try of her NRLW career in the first half.
Play of the game
It was only a matter of time before former Bronco Tamika Upton got over the line for her new club and in the end it proved to be the difference with Tayla Predebon and Emma Manzelmann setting up the Knights fullback.
Tamika takes off
What they said
"It was a tight one and those losses hurt more. Last week we were disappointed in a lot of areas of our game so we stripped it back this week. I can't knock the girls' effort tonight. The pleasing thing is we're improving. They were strong [defensively] but had a couple of lapses before half-time." - Titans coach Karyn Murphy.
"It was a big battle, especially in the middle. That second half we let them get in a little bit and couldn't get the momentum back. We had a few injuries and a lot of girls shifted in positions but we adapted really well. With 10 minutes to go everyone had to dig deep. We need to improve, we knew we couldn't come out this week and back it up before." - Knights captain Millie Boyle.
NRLW Press Conference: Titans v Knights - Round 2, 2022
The Titans will travel to Redcliffe's Moreton Daily Stadium for the Queensland derby in a standalone fixture against the Broncos on Saturday.
The Knights will take on Parramatta at McDonald Jones Stadium in a double-header alongside the men's NRL fixture between the Knights and Sharks.