The Gold Coast outlasted a brave Melbourne side missing its State of Origin stars to record an entertaining 18-12 win at Skilled Park in Round 15.
In a tight opening half, it looked like the home side would pay the price for a raft of missed opportunities when Melbourne opened the scoring in the 20th minute as Will Chambers released Sisa Waqa down the right touchline and he found rookie Ben Hampton looming up on the inside.
Having struggled to score early, the Titans levelled just two minutes later as an Albert Kelly bomb ricocheted straight from Waqa’s hands into the path of a flying Kevin Gordon and that’s the way it stayed to the half-time break.
Already down on troops, Melbourne suffered a crippling blow on 50 minutes when five-eighth Gareth Widdop dislocated his hip. That sparked a period of Titans dominance as they booted a penalty goal to take the lead before a fast play-the-ball near the line saw Jamal Idris dart down the blind side and throw a flick pass for Anthony Don to score and make it 14-6.
Melbourne refused to go away though and when Chambers showed blistering speed down the touchline before firing a long ball inside for Hampton to score his second, the difference was just two points with 18 minutes remaining.
But they couldn’t crack them again and the Gold Coast secured victory when Luke O’Dwyer crossed in the dying minutes.
The Titans ran 1484 metres to Melbourne’s 1334 and were required to make 57 fewer tackles with Kevin Gordon scoring a try and making 160 metres.
Melbourne’s right edge was dangerous, with Waqa making 165 metres and Chambers 123 metres to go with his eight tackle-breaks.