The Gold Coast Titans have succumbed to their second loss of the Dick Smith Auckland 9’s tournament after suffering a 26-0 defeat to the Wests Tigers.
Coming off a first-round loss to the New Zealand Warriors, the Titans needed a win to stay alive in the competition and secure a spot in the quarterfinals, but they were unable to contain a red-hot Tigers outfit who posted six unanswered tries.
The Tigers controlled the match from the beginning with strong defence and enterprising attack restricting the Titans scoring opportunities.
It was the Tigers who opened the scoring with Sauaso Sue popping a smart offload to Josh Drinkwater who raced downfield to score a bonus-point try and giving Pat Richards an easy conversion to take a 7-0 lead after two minutes of play.
The Tigers went back-to-back with Manaia Cherrington dummying his way through the Titans defence before scoring untouched under the posts to score another bonus-point try. With Richards adding the extras the Tigers took a 14-0 lead.
The Titans went close to posting points just minutes later when James Roberts chased down a kick but the speedster was unable to control the ball and were forced to settle for a 14-0 half-time deficit.
The Tigers continued their dominance early in the second-half with Drinkwater putting in a deft cross-field kick to Tim Simona to score in the corner to extend the Tigers lead to 18-0 with six minutes remaining in the game.
With all the possession, the Tigers posted further points through a barnstorming Salesi Funaki who crossed out wide to give the Tigers an unattainable 22-0 lead with two minutes remaining.
The Tigers finished the match of in style with Asipeli Fine scoring a try in the corner after the full-time buzzer to give the Tigers a 26-0 lead.
The Titans will take on the Canberra Raiders tomorrow morning in the final pool match before the finals series begins.
Wests Tigers 26 (J Drinkwater, M Cherrington, T Simona, A Fine tries; P Richards 2 goals) defeated Gold Coast Titans