Titans storm home to down Roosters
Chris McQueen chose the perfect time to break a 12-month try-scoring drought after he claimed the clincher for the Titans in a confidence-building 26-6 win over the Roosters at Cbus Super Stadium on Monday night.
Desperate to break a five-game losing streak on the back of a 38-0 flogging by Melbourne in Round 9, the Titans went toe-to-toe with the Roosters for the first 60 minutes before tries to David Mead, McQueen and William Zillman in the space of nine minutes broke Roosters hearts.
The timely 20-point win propels the Titans to within one win of the top eight while the Roosters remain mired near the foot of the Telstra Premiership ladder with just two wins from their first 10 games.
The Titans edged eight points clear on the back of Mead's try in the 63rd minute but when he was forced from the field shortly after with a knee injury McQueen was pushed from the back row to the centres and showed great pace to get the Titans' third of the night.
After a loose pass went to ground hooker Kierran Moseley shovelled the ball wide where McQueen evaded the tackle of Blake Ferguson and then left Aidan Guerra for dead, stepping past Latrell Mitchell to dive over for his first try as a Titan.
McQueen's try gave the Titans the momentum to go on and win comfortably but it was a try to Agnatius Paasi on the stroke of half-time that mentally kept the home side in the contest.
Despite having just 27 per cent of possession in the opening 20 minutes the Roosters were the first to break the stalemate in the 32nd minute and looked like going in or the kill in the minutes that followed.
But the Titans found a way to stem the tide and when Paasi pushed past two defenders to score under the posts Gold Coast took some cherished momentum into the half-time break leading 8-6.
The first 40 minutes were punctuated by penalties and two teams placed lowly on the ladder desperately looking for a shot of confidence.
The Titans were domiciled for much of the first 20 minutes inside the Roosters' 20-metre line but only had a Tyrone Roberts penalty goal to show for it.
Ryan James was held up over the line three times by desperate Roosters defence and David Mead was bundled into touch as he set sail for the left-hand corner as the Titans tried to take advantage of receiving the first four penalties of the game.
The tide eventually turned though and having been freshly introduced off the bench, Jared Waerea-Hargreaves attracted three defenders in the middle of the field before offloading out the back to a flying Mitchell who set sail for the left-hand corner, beating four defenders in the process to put the Roosters in front.
The Roosters continued to turn the screws by forcing a repeat set from next set but an error from Mitchell Pearce and another strip penalty put the Titans back in Roosters territory and this time they converted through Paasi.
After an indifferent first half Roosters winger Joe Burgess redeemed himself somewhat by preventing Josh Hoffman from scoring six minutes into the second half and the Titans were denied again four minutes later when a pass from Roberts failed to find a flying Leivaha Pulu close to the line.
Nineteen minutes into the second half a long-range Roosters try was sent upstairs in the affirmative only to be overturned by the Bunker when it was determined that Ash Taylor had been impeded by Mitchell from making a tackle on a rampant Daniel Tupou.
Jake Friend raced up in support to score left of the posts but to no avail, the Titans awarded a penalty 45 metres out from their own try-line for the obstruction.
It was a crucial swing of momentum and one the Titans took full advantage of to record their fourth win of the season.
Gold Coast Titans 26 (Agnatius Paasi, David Mead, Chris McQueen, William Zillman tries; Tyrone Roberts 5 goals) defeated Sydney Roosters 6 (Latrell Mitchell try; Jackson Hastings goal) at Cbus Super Stadium. Crowd: 9,363. Half-time: Titans 8-6.