The Knights made it three wins in a row with a 31 – 18 point win over the Sharks at Remondis Stadium last Sunday.
The Sharks, who were also coming off two consecutive wins, started well and at the break, led by a comfortable 18 points with the Knights unable to worry the scoreboard attendant.
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In the second half however, the momentum swung dramatically and within 15 minutes the Knights had the scores levelled. They went on with the job in the final twenty minutes, registered a good win and lifting themselves off the bottom of the ladder.
They return to Hunter Stadium for the first time since round 15 in what should be an emotional day.
The Knights have dedicated the day to Alex McKinnon and have named the match “Rise for Alex”.
With three wins under their belt, the same squad for the third consecutive week and in front of what should be a capacity field, the Knights will be extremely hard nuts for the struggling Titans to crack.
The Titans, who were without their starting halves, Origin forwards Nate Myles, Dave Taylor and Greg Bird, and coming off six straight losses, were given next to no hope of defeating Souths in Round 17.
However a poor showing by the Rabbits assisted the Titans in hanging on to an unexpected 14 – 10 win.
Returning to home and CBUS Stadium the Titans, who have only won two of eight home games this season, were expected to give their fans something to cheer about as they faced off against the Raiders last week.
Unfortunately, the Gold Coast crowd was disappointed again after the Raiders took the lead in the latter stages of the first half and extended their win late in the game with three tries.
It was the Titans seventh loss in the past two months and has seen the one-time competition leaders fall all the way to thirteenth on the ladder – only two wins in front of the Knights.
Anthony Don comes onto the wing – and has a good habit of scoring tries when he starts – allowing Kevin Gordon to drop back to fullback.
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HEAD TO HEAD
Newcastle have won four of their last five over the Titans and seven of the eleven games played between the two clubs overall.
The Knights also have a good record of racking up the points when playing the Titans, scoring 23 or more points all bar once in their past seven games.
With the emotion of the day certainly to fire the home-side up, the Knights – who have scored over 30 in two of their past three wins, could post something of a similar magnitude again.
KNIGHTS: Darius Boyd, James McManus, Joseph Leilua, Dane Gagai, Akuila Uate, Jarrod Mullen, Kurt Gidley, Kade Snowden, Adam Clydsdale, Willie Mason, Beau Scott, Robbie Rochow, Jeremy Smith. Interchange: Tyrone Roberts, Chris Houston, David Fa’alogo, Korbin Sims, Adam Cuthbertson.
TITANS: Kevin Gordon, Anthony Don, James Roberts, Brad Takairangi, Kalifa Faifai Loa, Maurice Blair, Daniel Mortimer, Luke Bailey, Beau Falloon, Nate Myles, Mark Minichiello, Dave Taylor, Paul Carter. Interchange: Matthew White, Luke Douglas, Tom Kingston, Albert Kelly, Mark Ioane.