The iSelect Gold Coast Titans under-20s side have suffered a 34-18 loss to the Brisbane Broncos at Cbus Super Stadium with the Broncos’ Nikorima brothers’ laying on five tries.
In a tough encounter, the Titans Holden Cup side put in a solid first-half performance and were unlucky to go into the half-time break trailing 16-12 after conceding a try in the last minute of play.
But there was no stopping the top-eight placed Broncos in the second-half with the dynamic Kodi (fullback) and Jayden (five-eighth) Nikorima combining to score three second-half tries to hand the Titans the 34-18 loss.
It was the visitors who opened the scoring with five-eighth Jayden Nikorima collecting a deflection to score out wide, but with the pivot unable to convert his tries the Broncos lead 4-0 after five minutes.
The Titans managed to hit-back in the 24th minute when crafty halfback Kane Elgey got across the line and with Deacon Fletcher adding the extras the Titans took a 6-4 lead.
It was the Broncos who posted next points when Jayden sliced his way through the defence to score next to the posts giving himself an easy conversion and his side a 10-6 lead after 30 minutes.
The Titans responded in the 36th minute when agile forward Caleb Morehu forced his way across the line, giving Elgey an easy conversion to give the Titans a 12-10 lead.
But the Broncos had one last set on the Titans line before the half-time break and hulking prop Aaron Rockley barged his way across the line to score next to the posts to give Nikorima an easy conversion to give the away side a slim 16-12 half-time lead.
It was the Broncos who broke the half-time deadlock in the 55th minute when Jayden Nikorima got across line for his hat-trick before converting the try to give the visitors a 22-12.
The Broncos extended their lead when Kodi Nikorima crossed under the posts, before giving younger brother Jayden an easy conversion to edge the visitors lead out to 28-12 with just over ten minutes remaining.
Some creative play by the Titans put winger Brian Kelly in open space down the touchline before he slipped a pass back inside to Elgey who threw an over-the-shoulder pass to find Conner Broadhurst to score. With Fletcher adding the extras the Titans trailed 28-18 with eight minutes remaining.
But the Broncos put an end to any Titans’ comeback hopes with Kodi Nikorima scoring his second try late in the match to give the Broncos the 34-18 victory.
The Titans will look to hit-back next week when they take on the Penrith Panthers on Monday, with a nine day turnaround.
Brisbane Broncos 34 (J Nikorima 3, J Nikorima 2, A Rockley tries; J Nikorima 5 goals) d. iSelect Gold Coast Titans 18 (K Elgey, C Morehu, C Broadhurst; D Fletcher 2, K Elgey 1 goals).