Titans steal late win in Penrith
A 78th-minute try from Anthony Don has seen the Gold Coast Titans steal a 28-24 victory over the Penrith Panthers on Sunday afternoon.
The Titans were never once in the lead until Don's try which secured his side a second-consecutive win.
It was a lesson of persistence for the Gold Coast who were forced to equal the ledger four times throughout the game.
All looked lost for them too when Penrith's Leilani Latu scored his first ever NRL try in the 71st minute. However an ugly error from Panthers skipper Matt Moylan under the high ball provided the Titans excellent territory for an Ashley Taylor try four minutes later.
Then another error from Tyrone Peachey from inside the Titans' half allowed Taylor to pick up the scraps and streak his way towards the other end. One tackle later and Leivaha Pulu provided the magic ball for Don to secure the Titans' win.
Penrith's loss wasn't the only bad news of the day either with centre Peta Hiku stretchered off with a potentially season-ending knee injury three minutes into the second half, while forward Jame Fisher-Harris suffered a broken thumb after being promoted to the starting side.
It may not have been the Panthers' day but it was looking good for the home side when Dallin Watene-Zelezniak posted first points in the eighth minute after Peter Wallace's attempted 40/20 was batted back into the field of play by Titans fullback Will Zillman. Problem was, with no Titans in support, all Watene-Zelezniak had to do was get a hand to the ball to score a bizarre try.
The Titans struck back in the 15th minute through Greg Bird who powered between prospective NSW Origin teammates Bryce Cartwright and Trent Merrin to score.
In what was an otherwise scrappy first 40, Peachey's 27th-minute try put the Panthers back in the lead following handy lead-up work by Moylan.
The scoreline was levelled by half-time by the powerful Agnatius Paasi to ensure a 12-all deadlock at the break.
Penrith hit the lead in the 52nd minute thanks to a Jamie Soward penalty goal, and they extended their advantage six minutes later when a miraculous Moylan bat on – which perhaps travelled forward – was caught by the try scorer Josh Mansour in the corner.
On his Titans debut former Eel Nathan Peats burrowed his way over from dummy-half in the 64th minute to help equal the ledger once again, before Latu, Taylor and Don finished off the scoring with a flurry of late tries.
Gold Coast Titans 28 (Greg Bird, Agnatius Paasi, Nathan Peats, Ash Taylor, Anthony Don tries; Tyrone Roberts 2, Ash Taylor 2 goals) defeated Penrith Panthers 24 (Dallin Watene-Zelezniak, Tyrone Peachey, Josh Mansour, Leilani Latu tries; Jamie Soward 4 goals) at Pepper Stadium. Crowd: 11,210. Half-time: 12-all. Injuries: Peta Hiku (Panthers – knee), Tyrone Roberts (Titans – quadriceps).