Titans tame Tigers in vital win
Sunday 4 August 2013 4:42 PM
The iSelect Gold Coast Titans have kept their finals hopes alive with a dominant 36-6 win over the Wests Tigers at Skilled Park today.
With their semi-finals hopes slipping after four consecutive losses, the Titans needed a win to stay in finals contention, and they laid the platform with an emphatic first-half performance to take a commanding 24-6 lead to the break.
The Titans continued their dominance in the second-half scoring two tries, and more importantly keeping the desperate Tigers at bay, to run away 36-6 winners to secure the vital two competition points in front of 11,731 fans.
The win sees the Titans move from 11th to ninth position on the NRL ladder on 22 competition points, just one-point behind the eighth placed Newcastle Knights.
iSelect Titans coach John Cartwright said the win will ignite his side ahead of their tough road to make the finals.
“It was just imperative, for a lot of reasons to get a win today,” Cartwright said.
“It was our chance to get that winning feeling back and front up Monday, the boys have stayed positive right through, but there’s nothing like getting a win.
“If we win the majority of our games we will be there, whilst we’re out of the eight, I still feel it’s in our hands, we got a really hard run, but the way I look at it, it’s going to galvanise us on the way through.
“If we can sneak a few and start to get a few guys back, confidence will start to return and that’s what it’s all about.”
iSelect Titans co-captain Nate Myles said despite losing four on the trot, the side was still positive, but the win will lift the side coming into the final five rounds of the competition.
“Everyone was still upbeat over the last month, losing all those games definitely plays on your mind a little bit so we needed that win today,” Myles said.
“It’s something we need to take on, we get a good win at home and give ourselves some confidence, and not just leave it out there after the game but take it on board.”
It was a poor start by the Titans with Myles losing the ball on the first carry of the game, but the side responded well with some brilliant scrambling defence keeping the Tigers at bay.
After the early mishap, the Titans recovered to post first points through centre Jamie Dowling, who reeled in an Aidan Sezer bomb to score his first NRL try and give Sezer an easy conversion to give the Titans a 6-0 lead after six minutes.
From the resulting kick-off the Titans lost the ball, gifting the Tigers the perfect chance to hit-back, and they took full advantage when Liam Fulton collected a Braith Anasta kick to plant the ball down, before Benji Marshall converted to tie the game up at 6-all after ten minutes of play.
Some crafty play by the Titans resulted in the side going on the attack, and they capitalised with Greg Bird holding up a beautiful short-ball to a flying David Mead to score next to the posts and give the side a 12-6 lead after 15 minutes of play.
The Titans forced a Tigers error, and the away-side were made to pay with Ashley Harrison and Sezer stringing together a series of slick passes to put Brad Takairangi in space before the towering centre forced his way across the line to extend the Titans lead to 16-6 after 30 minutes of play.
A penalty piggy-backed the Titans up field, and the Tigers ill-discipline proved costly after giving away another penalty in-front of the posts to gift Sezer an easy penalty-kick to take the Titans lead out to 18-16 with five minutes remaining.
With the momentum and possession firmly in the Titans favour, there was no-stopping a bulldozing David Taylor five metres out from the line, with the ‘coaltrain’ barging his way across to score next to the posts to help the side take a 24-6 half-time lead.
The second-half developed into an arm-wrestle, with both sides failing to land the last pass to get across the try-line.
The Titans began to get the upper hand in the tight encounter, and made the most of their dominance when Mark Minichiello charged across the line to extend the Titans lead out to 30-6 lead with just over ten minutes remaining.
The Titans finished the game in style with a lovely Harrison pass putting utility Luke O’Dwyer across the line in the final minutes to take the 36-6 victory.
They Titans will look to go back-to-back when they take on the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs next week.
Gold Coast Titans 36 (J Dowling, D Mead, B Takairangi, D Taylor, M Minichiello, L O’Dwyer; A Sezer 5 conversions; A Sezer 1 penalty goal) defeated Wests Tigers 6 (L Fulton; B Marshall 1 conversions)