Newcastle Knights have finally broken their 19-game NRL losing streak, toppling an injury-hit Gold Coast with a last-gasp 34-26 win at Hunter Stadium.
In a game that had just about everything, the Knights managed to win the match with six tries to five despite periods where they were blitzed by an unstoppable Titans attack.
The Gold Coast side scored an early contender for try of the year, but came off second-best and will be left counting the cost after a series of damaging injuries left them playing with 14 fit players for the last 43 minutes.
Regardless, the Titans appeared headed for a famous victory when Konrad Hurrell scored his second try to break a 22-22 deadlock with 10 minutes remaining.
But Knights centre Peter Mata’utia crashed over in the 75th minute to reclaim the lead, before Nathan Ross sealed the win on full-time.
The victory broke a 336-day drought since Newcastle’s last win, delighting the 12,869 home crowd.
The Knights will now take on South Sydney at Hunter Stadium next weekend, suddenly filled with some confidence and self-belief.
Gold Coast will be depleted for its match against Parramatta, with Hayne unlikely to take on his former club.
“We’re not real good. We’ve got two dislocated shoulders and quite a serious ankle injury,” coach Neil Henry said after the match.
“You could safely say that none of those three will play next week, and it could be a lot longer. Medical team’s had a look, but we’ll know a bit more in a day or two.”