Titans withstand late Tigers comeback
An Aidan Sezer field goal midway through the second half for the Titans to go 17 ahead almost proved the impetus for a second half comeback from their opposition, but in a tough week for the Gold Coast they managed to withstand the surge in their eventual 27-20 win over the Wests Tigers.
Snapping their three-game losing streak, a dominant first half display from the Titans and a late Anthony Don try in the 71st minute, was enough for them to secure a much-needed win.
With Sezer bizarrely kicking a field goal in the 57th minute to push the Titans' lead to 17, an error off the kick-off from Anthony Don – who stepped over the dead-ball line after he caught the ball – saw back-rower Chris Lawrence cross for his first try in almost a year and his side's first in 167 minutes.
James Tedesco found his way to the try-line, despite the presence of plenty of defenders, to bring the deficit back to five just four minutes later, before Lawrence made it a double following some handy lead-up work from centre Delouise Hoeter, who kicked a grubber back inside for the back-rower to pounce in the 68th minute.
With the Tigers hitting a 20-19 lead, their momentum was ended thanks to the explosive Titans edge of James Roberts and Anthony Don, with the latter able to weave his way 40 metres to the try-line, before a late penalty goal from Daniel Mortimer sealed the 27-20 win – though Sezer ended the game concussed off the back off a high Sauaso Sue tackle.
Other than the Tigers' three tries in eight minutes, it was all one way traffic for the Titans who hit back from their opposition's earlier 2-0 lead in the 10th minute when five-eighth Sezer, who was later placed on report for swearing, stepped through the flimsy defence of props Sue and Aaron Woods to score under the uprights.
The Titans went back-to-back eight minutes later when Kane Elgey grabbed the game by the neck. Throwing a cut-out to Don, the winger was able to throw it inside back to Elgey to score. However the halfback limped off the field soon after with a possible syndesmosis strain and failed to return in the second half.
Tigers' NRL debutant Manaia Cherrington was denied a try in the 31st minute when he was held up over the try-line by desperate Titans defence, and the Gold Coast made them pay three minutes before halftime when Roberts had Tigers players falling over themselves to score his 11th try of the season in his team's eventual win.
Gold Coast Titans 27 (Anthony Don, Aidan Sezer, Kane Elgey, James Roberts Tries; Aidan Sezer 4, Daniel Mortimer Goals; Aidan Sezer Field Goal) defeated Wests Tigers 20 (Chris Lawrence 2, James Tedesco Tries, Pat Richards 4 goals) at Leichhardt Oval. Crowd: 7,103. Halftime: Titans 16-2. On Report: Aidan Sezer (Titans), Sauaso Sue (Tigers).