The iSelect Gold Coast Titans under-20s side have suffered a 24-14 loss to the South Sydney Rabbitohs at Cbus Super Stadium this afternoon.
The Titans started in the worst possible way, finding themselves behind 6-0 after just four minutes, and appeared impatient in attack early on with the last pass often failing to connect but the side managed to find their form to go into the half-time break trailing 12-6.
The young Titans clawed their way back into the match trailing by two points going into the final ten minutes, but they were unable to contain the Rabbitohs’ barnstorming pack with forwards Cheyne Whitelaw and PJ Los’e both bagging late tries to give the visitors the 24-14 victory.
From the kick-off the Titans were immediately under pressure after an error from their first set gifted the visitors a great attacking opportunity and they took full advantage with prop Los’e barging over next to the posts to give Irae Simone an easy conversion, and the Rabbitohs a 6-0 lead after four minutes.
The Titans worked their way back into the game after building pressure and forcing repeat sets on the Rabbitohs line, but were just unable to crack the visitors’ defensive line.
After surviving the Titans attacking raids, the Rabbitohs mounted their own pressure and were rewarded when a quick play the ball created space for Devon Makoare-Boyce to dart across the line in the 29th minute to score next to posts to extend the visitors lead out to 12-0.
The Titans responded well with Kane Elgey supporting a break up the middle to score untouched next to the posts, giving himself an easy conversion to reel the deficit back to 12-6 with nine minutes remaining in the half.
The Titans received a repeat-set with a minute remaining in the half and looked like producing a miracle play with winger Brian Kelly jumping high to field a cross-field kick, but he was just unable to get it down, leading the Titans to go into the half-time break trailing 12-6.
The Titans started the second-half in flying colours with some crafty back-line play creating space for Kelly to dive superman-like to plant the ball down in the corner. But with Connor Broadhurst’s conversion attempt sailing wide the Titans trailed 12-10 with just under 30 minutes remaining.
Both sides continued to threaten, but it took until the 70th minute to break the stalemate with Rabbitohs lock-forward Cheyne Whitelaw forcing his way under the posts to give Simone an easy conversion to extend the visitors’ lead out to 18-10 with nine minutes remaining.
The Rabbitohs put the game beyond doubt in the 75th minute when Los’e charged through the Titans defence to grab his second-try and with Simone adding the extras the Rabbitohs took a 24-10 lead into the final five minutes,
The Titans scored a consolation try in the 77th minute with winger Zac Spring collecting a kick from the scrum to reel the full-time deficit back to 24-14.
The Titans will look to hit-back next week when they take on the Brisbane Broncos at Suncorp Stadium
South Sydney Rabbitohs 24 (PJ Los’e 2, D Makoare-Boyce, C Whitelaw tries; I Simone 4 goals) defeated Gold Coast Titans 14 (K Elgey, B Kelly, Z Spring tries; K Elgey goal).