The iSelect Gold Coast under-20s have had a heartbreaking 31-20 loss to the North Queensland Cowboys at 1300Smiles stadium.
Our boys fought back from 18-0 after 26 minutes to draw level at 24-all with 18 minutes remaining and looked to have the momentum to pull off a stunning comeback victory.
However a crucial play came when Christian Hazard decided to run the ball on the last tackle only to see it intercepted. Hazard turned and pulled down the culprit in a wonderful effort, but three plays later Cowboys prop Patrick Kaufusi scored from close range. Corey Jensen converted for 30-24.
Co-captain and halfback Kane Elgey soon after scored under the posts after another good break down our left side and Deacon Fletcher converted for 30-all with five minutes left.
But after missing an earlier field goal attempt through halfback Cooper Bambling, Cowboys fullback Yamba Bowie snapped a one-pointer which won the home side the match.
In the last play of the match Elgey tried to slot a one-pointer only to see it go just wide.
The loss can be contributed to poor ball control in the first half when the Titans spent far too much time defending. It was in stark contrast to the first half a week earlier against Parramatta when our boys had a 100 per cent completion rate in the first 40 minutes.
The Titans did not open the scoring until the 38th minute at 18-0 when Jaiden Hawkes went over after Shaun Hudson, at fullback for the injured Jahrome Hughes, made a bust on the right, found Hazard inside who chipped brilliantly for the supporting Hawkes. Elgey’s goal made the half-time score 18-6.
Karl Lawton early in the second half to put the Titans right into the game at 18-12. The Cowboys scored soon after but the Titans, getting to the last tackle and kicking well, started to build consistent pressure and scored the next two tries through Hudson and Elgey.
Elgey’s try was an absolute beauty. Right winger Zac Spring chased a good kick on the last tackle and toed ahead. He got there first and booted the ball again and was first to the ball just inside the dead ball line. As he was about to go over the line he flicked the ball back to Elgey who scored.
That set the scene for a frantic finish at 30-all but unfortunately the Cowboys got the best field position and won a thriller.
NQ Cowboys 31 (Hess 2, Carey, Bambling, O’Neill, Kaufusi tries; Jensen 3 goals, Bowie field goal) beat iSelect Cowboys 30 (Hudson, Hawkes, Elgey, Lawton tries; Elgey 4, Fletcher goals).