A below-par Sydney Roosters outfit did enough to run out 20-10 victors against a depleted Gold Coast Titans side at Central Coast Stadium on Sunday afternoon, in a game marred by a myriad of errors.
With the two teams combining for 27 errors, the Tricolours producing 16 of their own, the Titans struggled to capitalise as the impact of usual outside backs James Roberts and Josh Hoffman was minimised by their shift to the halves.
Despite being at full-strength the Roosters looked lacklustre soon after their first try through Shaun Kenny-Dowall in the sixth minute, as their only points in the second half came from a penalty goal by James Maloney after the siren.
Following the match, Roosters coach Trent Robinson was frank in his assessment of his side's performance.
"We were pretty poor in the second half. We didn't execute well at the start of the game especially down their end and it probably got worse in the second half," Robinson said.
"There were some different sorts of performances from us, our defence held us in there. We should've stamped our authority and didn't."
With the Roosters up 6-0 and threatening to score their second with consecutive sets on the Titans' line, Gold Coast winger Anthony Don saved the day when he intercepted a Maloney pass before running 90 metres to score in the 14th minute.
After a few false starts, particularly from the errors of prop Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, the Roosters hit back in the 28th minute when centre Michael Jennings weaved his way past Don and Titans fullback David Mead to score his first try since his man-of-the-match performance in Origin II.
The Tricolours were at it again as the half-time siren sounded when Maloney sent Jennings through a gaping hole 40 metres out, only for the centre to throw it back in for his five-eighth to score and extend the lead to 14 points.
The Gold Coast cut the lead to 8 when an uncharacteristic error from Roosters fullback Roger Tuivasa-Sheck in-goal allowed former teammate and centre Nene Macdonald to cross for his first Titans try.
With the error count and the Titans building, Roosters captain Mitchell Pearce prevented a certain try when he stopped winger Kalifa Faifai Loa from scoring in the 74th minute, a play which would end in Dave Taylor being penalised and the Tricolours getting out of trouble.
The Titans went on the hunt again in the final three minutes after regathering a short drop-out, though any hope of a Gold Coast comeback win was diminished when a Luke Douglas error and a Faifai Loa missed opportunity with 90 seconds remaining sealed their fate.
Maloney rounded out proceedings, kicking a penalty goal after the siren to help his team claim a 10-point victory.
Sydney Roosters 20 (Shaun Kenny-Dowall, Michael Jennings, James Maloney Tries; James Maloney 4 Goals) defeated Gold Coast Titans 10 (Anthony Don, Nene Macdonald Tries; James Roberts Goal) at Central Coast Stadium. Crowd: 12,569. Half-time: Roosters 18-4.