U20s in upset victory
The iSelect Gold Coast Titans under 20s have scored an upset 36-26 victory over the second-placed Parramatta Eels at Cbus Super stadium this afternoon in their best performance of the season.
An enthralling game was decided through two tries to left winger Brian Kelly in the last 10 minutes as the determined Titans fought back from 22-26 behind.
Lying 14th on the ladder before the match, the young Titans shocked the Eels scoring four dazzling tries to take a 22-12 half-time lead. But the electrifying Eels found their form posting three unanswered second-half tries to take a 26-22 lead going into the final 20 minutes of the game.
The young Titans managed to compose their attacking plays and showed great patience to produce a brave comeback effort with Shaun Hudson crossing to level the scores before a late Brian Kelly double ensured the Titans the two competition points.
It was the Titans who opened the scoring with Christian Hazard holding up a deft short-pass to put Anthony Colman in next to the posts, giving Deacon Fletcher an easy conversion and the home side an early 6-0 lead.
The visitors hit-back in the 13th minute after fullback Corey Makelim made a bust up the middle before getting a pass away to Joey Lussick who outpaced the defence to score. The Eels’ Nathan Davis added the extras to tie the scores up at 6-all.
The Eels went back-to-back with Zach Dockar-Clay opting to run it on the last play and showed great pace to slice his way through the defence and score next to the posts before Davis converted to edge the visitors to a 12-6 lead.
The Titans responded in the 25th minute when Colman barged his way through the Eels defence before producing a clever offload to Jahrome Hughes to score out wide, but with the conversion sailing wide the Titans trailed 12-10.
With the momentum in their favour, the Titans took full advantage with a well-crafted backline play resulting in Jaiden Hawkes crossing out wide before Kane Elgey added the extras to give the Titans a 16-12 lead with just over ten minutes remaining in the half.
The Titans turned defence into attack with Elgey intercepting a pass deep on his own defensive line before racing downfield to score untouched under the posts to give himself an easy conversion and the side a 22-12 lead, which they carried into the half-time break.
But it was a poor start to the second-half with an error from the kick-off putting the Eels on the attack and they capitalised with centre John Folau barging across for a try to reduce the margin to 22-16.
The Eels continued their strong start to the half making easy metres to get a kick away in an attacking position and the method proved successful with Folau cleaning up the scraps from a crossfield kick to score out wide before Davis added the extras to tie the game up at 22-all with 30 minutes remaining.
With the momentum going all the visitors’ way, the Eels took full advantage in the 56th minute when a brilliant cut-out pass from Dylan Izzard found massive winger Fabian Goodall to score to give them a 26-22 lead.
Back-to-back penalties piggy-backed the Titans up the field and on the back of another well-constructed set-piece, Hudson sliced through the defence to score out wide to level the game up at 26-all with 15 minutes remaining.
The Titans received a boost with another penalty advancing the side up the field and when Kelly got a lucky bounce from a bomb to score out wide for the Titans took a 30-26 lead with ten minutes remaining.
The Titans ensured they would secure the win with Kelly grabbing his second try in the final minutes of the match before Elgey added the extras to give the home-side the 36-26 victory.
iSelect Gold Coast Titans 36 (B Kelly 2, A Colman, J Hughes, J Hawkes, K Elgey, S Hudson tries; K Elegy 3, D Fletcher 1 goals) defeated Parramatta Eels 26 (J Folau 2, J Lussick, Z Dockar-Clay, F Goodall tries; N Davis 3 goals.)