Relived Don's striking strike-rate
Titans winger Anthony Don continued his impressive try-scoring form, running 60 metres and beating six defenders to seal the game for the Gold Coast Titans on Friday night, but he was certainly more relieved than jubilant.
Don’s match-winning try against the Tigers brings his season tally to 11, level with teammate James Roberts and just five tries shy of David Mead’s Titan’s season record of 16 in 2011.
Despite scoring the winning try and breaking the Titans’ three-game losing streak, Don was hesitant in his celebration, with the winger for a split second unsure if he had lost control of the ball.
“It was a relief once they awarded it after the video referee had a look, because I knew I had a little juggle when I went to put it down,” Don said.
“I was probably about 90 per cent confident I got it down, but you just never know what it’s going to look like on the big screen so I was very relieved when it came up with a try.
“I’ll learn from that mistake and I think I might be diving over next time.”
Considering Lachlan Burr lost control of the ball as he tried to score a match-saving try six days earlier against the Rabbitohs, it was an another anxious moment for Titans fans.
Don’s relief wasn’t just because of the mini-fumble, but it made up for his part in sparking the Tigers’ second-half comeback in which they scored three tries in eight minutes.
Don got in a tangle when he mistimed the placement of his foot when catching the ball from the kick-off after an Aidan Sezer field goal made it 19-2, giving possession back to the Tigers and valuable momentum.
“There was a field goal the play before so I didn’t have much time to setup and I had a bit of a brain-fade and didn’t get my foot down quick enough,” he said.
“It ended up being a line drop-out instead of a penalty on the halfway mark, which was a big momentum shifter for the team and was a bad mistake on my behalf, I’ll learn from it for next time.”
Having lost a few close encounters this season, Don is confident he and his Titans teammates will take plenty out of the nail-biting win against the Tigers.
“I feel like my form is improving, but there’s still a lot of things I need to work on in defence and attack so it’s an ongoing process and hopefully I’m getting better each week,” he said.
“It’s good for our confidence to win a close one. We shut the game out quite well in the last 10 minutes by getting really good field position and it was a nice win and will help everyone’s confidence going forward.”
Despite playing just a handful of first grade games before 2015, Don sits equal second with Roberts in the NRL try-scoring stakes, making the newly formed right-side combination one of the most deadly in the competition. Don has now surpassed the man regarded as an NRL try-scoring whiz in Roberts with his scoring strike-rate. Don has scored 27 tries from 39 games since his debut as a 25-year-old in round six of 2013 while Roberts has also scored 27 tries but from one more game – 40.
Mead, who has crossed only three times this year, is the club all-time record holder too with 58 tries from 110 games, still a very good average.
The Titans will come face to face with the man sitting om top of the try-scoring lists on Sunday – Bulldogs’ winger Curtis Rona, who has already crossed the line 13 times this season. He plays left wing so will be up against the right hand defence of Don and Roberts.
Although wary of the threat posed by Rona and the big Canterbury forward pack, Don is confident the Titans can get the points on Sunday, even without State of Origin star Nate Myles.
The Titans’ play the Bulldogs 4pm Sunday at CBUS Super Stadium.
For tickets to Sunday's match click here