The Titans have scored the only try of the match in the final minute to steal a penalty-laden 8-6 heartbreaker from the Wests Tigers at Cbus Super Stadium.
A sluggish match heavy with errors and penalties was petering out to a 6-2 win to the visitors with every point coming via penalty goals until a heartbreaking late try to the Titans off a deflected kick.
The first half was a real struggle for points for both sides, with each clunky in attack and prone to errors.
The Tigers lost Jacob Liddle for 15 minutes to an HIA and back-up dummy-half Tyrone Peachey for 10 minutes due to a sin-bin for repeated infringements while Liddle was off, but the Titans weren't able to capitalise.
First points finally came two minutes from half time when the Titans took two points for a crusher tackle penalty. However a forward pass from the restart and a scrum penalty handed their opponents a free two points in reply to make it 2-2 at the break.
Each team continued to fumble their occasional attacking chances in the second half, until a Titans obstruction penalty in their own end allowed the Tigers to go 4-2 ahead with 10 minutes to play.
Ruck interference from the Titans gave the Tigers one more penalty goal, with the chance to soak up the clock more handy than the extra two points as they moved to 6-2 ahead inside the final four minutes.
But the Titans' final assault yielded results in the most dramatic of circumstances as a last-play bomb bounced off the post and could not be cleaned up by Jock Madden with AJ Brimson touching down and Toby Sexton slotting the simple conversion to steal the win in the final minute.
Match: Titans v Wests Tigers
Round 4 -
Venue: Cbus Super Stadium, Gold Coast
- The dramatic late try to the Titans averted what would have been the first try-less match of the NRL era.
- As clunky as the attack was from both teams, there were some admirable moments in defence from both sides with some desperate goal-line defence on show.
- Jamayne Isaako made his club debut for the Titans at fullback with Jayden Campbell sitting out with a rib injury and looked sharp with ball in hand, easily topping the run metres for the match with 195 and saving a try. However there were also two errors and some suspect end-of-set grubber kicks.
Isaako already saving tries for his new team
- Jock Madden assumed the majority of in-game kicking duties from senior half Luke Brooks
- Alex Twal was placed on report for a crusher tackle on Toby Sexton shortly before half time.
- Tino Fa'asuamaleaui was also placed on report for a lifting tackle on James Tamou.
- Jacob Liddle was taken for a first-half HIA after a head clash with Moeaki Fotuaika left him with a bloody nose, but he was able to return after passing.
- Tyrone Peachey was penalised in his first involvement after coming on for Liddle, then sin-binned for repeated team infrongements soon after.
- Kelma Tuilagi was arguably his team's best in the first half in his return from a HIA, but was taken off at half time due to a separate knock.
Play of the game
It could only be the late try. With the match on the line and no tries scored in 79 minutes, Toby Sexton launched a hit-and-hope bomb that deflected off the upright then was knocked from Jock Madden's grasp for AJ Brimson to touch down and steal the win.
The Titans steal the win!
What they said
"It can be a cruel game. To see my change room like that, I'm actually really proud of the player son how they continually stay at it and work and I'm finding out a lot about my coaching and dealing with players through these periods and I couldn't be prouder, they're rock solid. There's a lot of hurt in the change room at the moment. 79 minutes, we had it there, it's a tough one." – Wests Tigers coach Michael Maguire
"We expected a really tough game and obviously got that. To find a way to win at the end, I couldn't be happier or prouder of the boys tonight. I'm really happy to come away with that win." – Gold Coast Titans coach Justin Holbrook
Gold Coast Titans
The Titans get another home game next Saturday night in an early-season rematch against an Eels side that beat them in a high-scoring round one contest.
A deflated Wests Tigers outfit travel to Cronulla on Sunday afternoon hunting their first win of the season.