NRL: McManus makes life misery for Titans

By Rob Forsaith

Scottish-born Knights wing scores four tries as Newcastle snap four-game losing streak in emphatic style.

James McManus. Photo / Getty Images
James McManus. Photo / Getty Images

Knights 46
Titans 16

Newcastle wing James McManus equalled a club-record four tries as the Knights reclaimed eighth spot on the NRL ladder with a crushing 46-16 home win over Gold Coast yesterday.

The Titans' season of promise hit its lowest note at Hunter Stadium, with star centre Jamal Idris suffering a suspected broken ankle in the fifth minute and Ash Harrison limping off the park early in the second half.

Queensland enforcer Nate Myles was unable to back up from State of Origin, and fellow co-captain Greg Bird might have wished he did the same as Newcastle snapped a four-game losing streak in style.

The visitors struggled to complete sets and their misery was compounded by the Knights' ability to swing the ball left to McManus with devastating effect.

Titans wing Anthony Don fumbled Jarrod Mullen's kick after the game's opening set of six and it proved a telling omen.

Halfback Tyron Roberts opened the scoring when he sold a dummy and ducked over himself in the 10th minute, and the Knights poured on five more tries in the opening half.

On three occasions it was McManus who slid over the tryline, terrorising Don and capping off some stellar ball movement to give Newcastle a 36-0 halftime lead.

Roberts helped set up another four-pointer for the 27-year-old just two minutes into the second stanza, meaning the Scottish-born wing joined Andrew Johns and four others as the only men to score four tries in a match for Newcastle.

From there, the procession slowed.

Mullen scored the Knights' eighth try before the Titans finally got on the scoreboard in sensational style in the 68th minute, when Kevin Gordon sprinted more than 80m after intercepting a kick.

Bird and David Mead crossed in the dying stages, but even that failed to add a modicum of respect to the scoreboard.

The only sour note for the crowd of 9208 was Newcastle veteran Willie Mason being put on report for a high shot on Titans youngster Sam Irwin.

Roberts slotted six conversions in the wet, and also added another goal after Albert Kelly clattered into McManus with his knees. AAP

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