Five things we learned from Titans v Knights

Five things we learned from Titans v Knights Written by MARK ST JOHN, March 6, 2016

THE Titans ran out 30-12 victors over the hapless Knights in soggy conditions on the Gold Coast. Here are the five things RLW learned:

1. Newcastle are in for a long season.
The Knights had six players on debut against the Titans today and it showed. In trying conditions the young Knights got a lesson in what it takes to be a first grade side and from one of the predicted cellar dwellers of 2016 in the Gold Coast club. Worryingly new Knights coach Nathan Brown has failed to fix his side’s defence which leaked some soft tries tonight. If things don’t change quickly some of the competition heavyweights will have a field day when they come up against the Novocastrians.

2. The Titans will surprise a few teams this season.
Yes the opposition were not up to first grade standard but this young Gold Coast team showed enough to suggest they will not be easy beats in 2016. Their forwards rolled their sleeves up in the wet and set a strong platform for their halves to create a number of opportunities for the outside backs to cash in. Greg Bird, Agnatius Paasi, Tyrone Roberts and Anthony Don were all impressive for the home side.

3. Ashley Taylor could be one of the best recruits of 2016.
The Broncos were reluctant to let go of their Holden Cup Star and on his first performance for his new club it’s easy to see why. Added to the importance of Taylor’s signing is that the Titans will be without brilliant half Kane Elgey who is out for the season with injury. Taylor had a hand in several tries at Cbus Super Stadium tonight but it was his enterprise and composure in attack that will most benefit his new club.

4. Why has Zeb Taia been lost to the NRL for three years.
The former Knight has been playing in France for the past three seasons but on tonight’s performance he would have been an excellent pick up for a number of clubs searching for more punch in their forward packs. Taia did something Titans players have struggled with in recent seasons and that is bending the defensive line and a barnstorming try was just reward for a tireless debut for his new club.

5. John Olive has had a whirlwind couple of weeks.
A matter of weeks ago the young back was playing for South Sydney in a trial against the Titans. Today he lined up for his second game of first grade and first game in Titans colours after a switch on the eve of the 2016 season. Olive was impressive on debut for his new club running with purpose in several strong charges and bagging himself a try for good measure.

Titans 30 (Taia 2, Don 2, Olive, Paasi tries; Roberts 5 goals) beat Knights 12 (P. Mata’utia, Saifiti tries; Hodkinson 2 goals)

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