Wests Tigers v Titans: Five key points
With both teams trying to snap respective three-game losing streaks it was the Titans who would prevail 27-20 over the Wests Tigers on Friday. Here are the five key points to come from the see-sawing affair.
Titans' field goal success the impetus behind Tiger revival
Up 18-2 with more than a quarter of the game remaining, Aidan Sezer's field goal to make his team go 17 ahead was bizarre in itself, yet what followed almost cost the Titans the game.
With Anthony Don putting his foot over the dead ball line after catching the ball off the consequential kick-off, the Tigers earned a goal-line dropout and went on to score three tries in eight minutes to hit the lead, before Don scored the eventual match-winner soon after.
"The field goal was a weird one, Aidan said he looked at the scoreboard and couldn't see the two points, he forgot about the two points the Tigers already had," Titans coach Neil Henry said post-game.
"But in the end it ended up being seven points [difference] so it made it very difficult for them to get back in the game late. In a roundabout way [it made sense] in the end."
Gold Coast captain Nate Myles shared his teammate's confusion.
"I told him to go for the one point," Myles admitted. "I was in the same boat as him so I could probably take blame for that one."
Tigers "moving in the right direction" according to coach
Last time they played it was their attack which needed fixing, but this week Tigers coach Jason Taylor reiterated the club's main focus was their defence, in what ultimately let them down by game's end.
Conceding numerous soft tries, the Tigers coach – while disappointed – said compared to other games which comprise the Tigers' four-game losing streak his young team are improving.
"We've had four losses but the pain we felt in the first two losses was way worse than the pain in the last two weeks – because we aren't as far away. I suppose in that regard we're moving in the right direction," Taylor said.
"We've got to learn the hard way. That's by getting out there each week and feeling the pain. We're feeling the pain right now. We've been feeling the pain for a few weeks in a row but we've still got a way to go."
Character-building losses benefit Titans
Losing their past three games, including games they could have easily won against the Sharks and Rabbitohs, Titans captain Nate Myles believes in a sense the close defeats are what benefitted his team when push came to shove against the Tigers.
"I said last week that the games we have been losing are definitely building some character within our players," he said. "We played some good footy, it was a lack of execution let them back into it but we ended up winning which is a good sign."
Having been the victim of the most infamous NRL contract backflip of all time, the Titans finished a disappointing week on a high.
While obviously disappointed about the way Daly Cherry-Evans turned his back on the Gold Coast, Henry said bouncing back to win was a matter of the team focusing on what they could control: the on-field proceedings.
"It's been well-documented the past few days, hasn't it? Look, I've said all along that what's important to the boys is how they play for each other and the here and the now," Henry said.
"We can't control anything else other than what we did on the field and I think we did that and we got the win."
Aidan Sezer put on report... for swearing?
While we can't document what he actually said because, quite frankly, it isn't for the faint-hearted, Sezer was placed on report for swearing at opposite five-eighth Mitch Moses.
Asking a question of his opponent with a few choice words to boot, Ashley Klein had no hesitation throwing his crossed arms in the air.
Henry was perplexed when informed off the matter.
"Swearing at a rival player?" Henry asked. "They are going to start putting players on report for that?
"We're going to have a lot of players on report, I thought he was arguing with the referee so I thought it may have been for dissent. I don't know anymore."