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Titans halfback Ash Taylor.

Gold Coast coach Garth Brennan was left fuming after halfback Ash Taylor was flattened by a high shot by Joe Stimson at a crucial late stage in their 10-8 loss to Melbourne  - with the hit not even resulting in a penalty.

"You lose your halfback to a head knock ... everyone can see it was a high shot and no penalty?" he mused.

"Where's the duty of care to our players. I lose a halfback to a head knock – clearly a swinging arm – and there is no penalty and play on, please?

"I'm not going to beat up on the referees. There was a 6-0 penalty count in the second half, and they [the Storm] were perfect up to the crusher tackle apparently [by Dale Finucane in the 72nd minute].

"At the end of the day we need to be better. It didn't cost us, the one on one tackle misses and the poor discipline in the second half hurt us more than anything else."

The controversial tackle happened in the 71st minute when Stimson came in over the top to finish a tackle on Taylor and the ball came loose 25 metres from the Storm line with the game still in the balance.

Despite video replays while Taylor was down, no action was taken.

Match Highlights: Titans v Storm - Round 24, 2018

However Brennan also admitted the inability for his halves to put themselves in better position on the last play let them down as his young players like Taylor, Kane Elgey and AJ Brimson were served a 'masterclass' by Melbourne maestro Cameron Smith and five-eighth Cameron Munster.

And they will get a second class from Johnathan Thurston in his last match at Cbus Super Stadium against the Titans next Saturday night.

Taylor and Elgey were positive and effective in the first 20 minutes of the match, setting their outside men on to the attack on both sides of the field and kicking well with purpose.

Then it all came tumbling down as they finished their sets with hope more than a plan for the remainder of the game and by the time Taylor was hit, the problem had become endemic.

"Game management is so important, and the players around Ash (Taylor) and 'Elg' [Elgey] need to help them out more," Brennan admitted.

"There were times in the second half when we defended a set and got the ball back and we were just hanging on instead of showing some tough energy and actually doing something with the ball.

"We need to be finishing our sets better instead of just playing dumb football on the last tackle.

"Cameron Smith has played more games than most of our backline combined. He is a super player and controls the game very, very well and that's something that out young halves and our young players have to learn from and hopefully one day aspire to be like.

"You can't give a side like Melbourne a leg up, and we did tonight.

"They have the greatest fullback ever (Billy Slater), the greatest hooker ever and probably the form player of the competition in Munster.

"They are full of quality players but there are quality players in our team today where the fans can be excited that we're not going away with two points tonight but they should be going away with plenty of hope and looking forward to 2019."

Acknowledgement of Country

National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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