The longest current losing streak in the NRL has continued, with Parramatta thrashing Gold Coast 46-6 at an empty Cbus Super Stadium.
The Eels jumped to a 2-0 season start to top the ladder, despite losing influential hooker Reed Mahoney (ankle) in Sunday night’s first half, ensuring the Titans slumped to their 10th straight loss as a home team.
Gold Coast was on the back foot from the outset when it lost experienced back-rower Kevin Proctor to a hamstring complaint in the warm-up.
And the Titans’ luck didn’t change after kickoff despite restricting the Eels to a 14-6 halftime lead.
Cynics could argue the Titans held a distinct advantage, hosting a match at a vacant venue due to the coronavirus pandemic, after playing for years in front of poor home crowds.
But Gold Coast was ambushed by the Eels, who jumped to a 12-0 lead after just eight minutes. From there, it was all one-way traffic.
The Titans have not won a match since Round 13 last season, suffering a club record 13 straight losses.
They have become just the sixth team in the NRL era to lose 13 in a row and first since Newcastle’s 19 consecutive defeats in 2016-17, the longest losing streak in this period.
The Titans are creeping closer to the record 16 successive losses set in 1993 for all Gold Coast franchises.
In contrast, Newcastle remains undefeated through the first two rounds of the NRL after a try-scoring blitz against Wests Tigers.
In perfect conditions on Sunday afternoon at Leichhardt Oval, the Knights ran in eight tries while leaking four to get the 42-24 win.
And while the defensive performance was a far cry from their Round 1 shutout of the Warriors, the Knights pulled apart the Tigers’ line too easily.
Several times in the second half, the Knights exposed the Tigers’ right-edge pairing of Joey Leilua and David Nofoaluma, with Kalyn Ponga, Mitchell Pearce, Edrick Lee and Enari Tuala scoring out wide.
And while the hosts managed two tries to Josh Reynolds and Luciano Leilua in the second half, the Knights – led by the boot of Pearce – remained in control.
“It wasn’t the complete performance that we had last week. There were some moments that I was really happy with our resilience on the tryline, but we had a couple of moments there where guys took the foot off the throat a little bit,” coach Adam O’Brien said.
“Any time you get 24 points put against you … I know there was an intercept and an error in the red zone that gifted them 12 points, but they’re a dangerous footy team.”
Luciano Leilua might also face heat from the match-review committee for a late shot on Ponga in the dying minutes of the game.
The Tigers are scheduled to face Canterbury next week at Campbelltown, while the Knights are due to play Cronulla at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium.