Titans overrun wounded Sea Eagles
A runaway second half from the Titans has ended Manly's tournament with a 24-4 victory and booked a semi-final meeting against the Warriors.
Titans veteran Greg Bird was proud of the efforts of his side in getting past Manly, and looked ahead to their semi-final with the home town favourites.
"We held the ball well and I think every game we get a better understanding of what does and doesn't work for us," Bird said.
"I think you just have to starve the Warriors of possession, short kick-offs, just not give them opportunities with the ball. They are the sort of team who can score from anywhere on the paddock."
Manly and Gold Coast traded line breaks early through Matt Parcell, Tom Trbojevic and Anthony Don but neither team was able to capitalise from their early chances.
A beautiful kick behind the line by Tom Trbojevic from 35 metres out earned a drop out and from there Trbojevic slotted into a right side shift and produced a deft catch and pass to put Brayden Wiliame over for first points in the right corner.
Manly coach Trent Barrett's heart would have skipped a beat shortly after when Trbojevic's ankle twisted under him in a tackle forcing him from the field for assessment, with Manly's 18-man squad already down to 13 fit players.
Shortly after a relentless passage of offloads from the Titans resulted in Nene McDonald crossing next to the posts for a 6-4 lead at half-time.
Trbojevic was back to start the second half and immediately returned to causing the Gold Coast defence headaches, but it was a length-of-the-field David Mead try that stretched the Titans' lead to 13-4.
A rampaging 50-metre solo try from Chris McQueen put the result beyond doubt then a brilliant Nathan Davis offload set up a leaping Anthony Don just inside the corner post to make it a 24-4 final score.
Manly forward Feleti Mateo reflected on a tournament which saw Manly make it to the quarter-finals, but suffer a number of serious injuries along the way.
"Tommy Trbojevic hurt his ankle in that last game and we had our hearts in our mouths, but he kept playing and I think he is alright, he is a pretty tough kid," Mateo told NRL.com.
"I'm not to sure what impact it will have on our team yet for the start of the season, we will have to get back and have a look at it. It's not good for us but we have some fresh bodies back home.
"But the way we played there were plenty of positive signs."
Gold Coast Titans 24 (McDonald, Mead, McQueen, Don tries) def. Manly Sea Eagles 4 (Wiliame try).