The iSelect Gold Coast Titans under 20s side have scored an emphatic 60-22 victory over the Canberra Raiders at Cbus Super Stadium this afternoon.
The young Titans fought back from 16-0 down after 15 minutes to score a whopping 38 unanswered points with Brian Kelly, Jaiden Hawkes, Christian Hazard and Karl Lawton all grabbing doubles to give the side its biggest win of the season.
The win also marks the first at Cbus Super Stadium for the year and sees the side jump two spots on the competition ladder to move up to 13th position.
It was the visitors who opened the scoring in the third minute after the Titans failed to clean up a Raiders’ kick which bounced up neatly for Thomas Cronan to score under the posts to give Scott Doyle an easy conversion and his side a 6-0 lead.
The Raiders extended their lead in the 11th minute when Doyle barged his way through the defensive line to stretch out and plant the ball down.
With the momentum firmly in their favour, the Raiders capitalised through Dylan McGrath who made a break from dummy-half before drawing-and-passing to Jono Kent to score before Doyle added the extras to edge his side 16-0 clear after just 15 minutes.
The Titans turned defence into attack after forcing a Raiders error coming out of trouble and took full advantage when they opted to run the ball on the last play with Kelly scoring out wide to reel the deficit back to 16-4 after 20 minutes.
The try gave the Titans a confidence boost and when Zac Spring broke through some lazy defence coming of trouble, the Titans spread the ball early to take advantage of an overlap with Hawkes crossing to give Kane Elgey an easy kick to bring the score-line back to 16-10 with 15 minutes remaining in the half.
In the 29th minute, the Titans successfully used their captains’ challenge with the video-referee overruling the on-field referee’s decision to award a try to the Raiders.
The Titans produced some razzle-dazzle footy with the ball going through multiple sets of hands before ending up with Hazard who found his way across the line before Elgey converted to send the game into half-time break tied up at 16-all.
The Titans started the second-half in similar fashion they finished the first with Hawkes darting across from dummy-half to score under the posts giving Elgey an easy conversion and the home side a 22-16 lead.
A blind side play by the Titans resulted in utility Shaun Hudson putting in a deft grubber to be collected by Hazard to score his second try of the afternoon. With Elgey adding the extras the Titans edged out to a 28-16 lead with 35 minutes remaining.
The Titans continued their second-half dominance scoring back-to-back tries through forwards Jackson Clarke and Lawton to shoot out to a 42-16 lead with 20 minutes remaining.
The Titans let the ball bounce from the kick-off and were made to pay with the it bouncing inch-perfect for Brett Solomon to score under the posts to reel the score-line back to 42-22.
With the game heating up and players having a couple of melees, the referees intervened by sin-binning the Titans Francis Fifita and the Raiders Scott Doyle.
But the Titans put an end to any Raiders comeback hopes finishing the game off with Lawton grabbing his second and Jahrome Hughes and Kane Elgey getting across the line to give the Titans the 60-22 win.
The Titans will look to keep their winning ways when they take on the table-topping Newcastle Knights at Hunter Stadium next week.
Gold Coast Titans 60 (J Hawkes 2, C Hazard 2, B Kelly 2, K Lawton 2, J Clarke, J Hughes, K Elgey tries; K Elgey 5, D Fletcher 3 goals) defeated Canberra Raiders 22(T Cronan, S Doyle, J Kent tries, B Solomon; S Doyle 3 goals)