Alarm bells are ringing for Brisbane after being upset 30-12 by NRL battlers Gold Coast at Lang Park, with the Broncos now on the end of five straight losses.
- The Cowboys dominated the first half to lead 26-0 at the break
- Cowboys star Jason Taumalolo posted a staggering 264 run metres for the match
- The loss was just the Knights’ second of the season
Already under the pump, Broncos coach Anthony Seibold is now facing enormous pressure after his side was ambushed by the Titans who grabbed a shock 22-0 half-time lead.
The 6,262-strong crowd — allowed into the ground for the first time at a Broncos match since the NRL’s resumption — booed their team off the field at the break.
Their mood would not have improved as the Titans sealed their biggest win over the Broncos, eclipsing their 34-18 result in 2009.
Nothing went right for the Broncos.
They were reduced to 11 men on the field in the dying moments after enforcer Matt Lodge went off with left knee injury in the 65th minute, then winger Corey Oates was sin binned and they ran out of interchanges.
Adding further insult, Brisbane will drop to the bottom of the ladder if Canterbury defeat Wests Tigers on Sunday.
It marks the first time in eight years Brisbane has dropped five straight and the ninth time in club history.
It was just the Gold Coast’s second win in 18 matches.
Remarkably the Titans notched four first-half tries, including a double to winger Anthony Don.
Cowboys outclass Knights
Newcastle has received a reality check following its solid start to the NRL season via a 32-20 defeat to North Queensland in Townsville.
A day after coach Adam O’Brien warned his team were not doing as well as they thought, the Knights looked lethargic and confused against a rampaging Cowboys outfit devoid of some big stars.
With Michael Morgan and Valentine Holmes sidelined, experienced forwards Jason Taumalolo and Josh McGuire were ruthless up front against the favoured Knights pack.
Taumalolo in particular was immense, celebrating his 100th NRL win with 264 run metres from 24 carries, 96 post-contact metres and 27 tackles.
A week earlier, the Cowboys were on the wrong end of a 34-0 first-half thumping by the Wests Tigers but returned the favour for the Knights to take a 26-0 lead into the break.
And despite three tries in 16 minutes to begin the second half and a late four-pointer to Gehamat Shibasaki, the Knights could not recover from their horror start.
They mounted somewhat of a comeback in the second half, when, in the final minute, Kalyn Ponga was denied the chance to score by five-eighth Scott Drinkwater, but a penalty try was not awarded.
Drinkwater was sent to the sin-bin for the professional foul, but he went smiling as the Cowboys celebrated their first win in a month.
The Knights’ pack were punished through the middle as the Cowboys erupted with energy unmatched by the visitors.
The Cowboys successfully dented Ponga’s impact by finishing sets with a kick into touch, limiting space and time for the full-back with ball in hand.
It was a tactic that frustrated the Knights’ playmaker, who still managed to set up a try for Hymel Hunt, but finished with just 73 running metres, well below his average of 147 for the season.