The Gold Training Gold Coast Titans under-20s have put in their best performance of the season in a breathtaking 40-35 win against fifth-placed Sydney Roosters at Gosford today.
The Titans were down 10-0 a quarter of the way in the game but scored the next 34 points. They led 16-10 at the break and went further ahead but then looked as though they would let the game slip when the Roosters scored three quick tries.
Jackson Hastings, initially chosen in the Roosters NRL side, threatened to break their hearts at 34-all with a field goal with two minutes remaining.
But an incredible finish saw winger Greg Lelesiuao sneak over from dummy half in the final minute to give Ben Woolf’s side, down on troops because of injury, their fourth win of the season and just their second victory since round two.
While the Titans had been first to score in several of their recent games, it was the Roosters who were first on the scoreboard this time through a try to left centre Joseph Manu in the fourth minute. It was converted by Hastings.
Manu was in again in the 17th minute from a great offload from Hastings just short of the tryline. This time the conversion attempt was wide for the Roosters to hold a 10-0 lead.
Left winger Tyronne Roberts-Davis (pictured) put the Titans on the board in the 21st minute after a pass from Shaun Hudson went to ground but bounced to Davis who had an overlap and ran 15 metres unopposed. Hudson missed the kick for 10-4.
They levelled the scores off the first set from the kick. Rory Humphreys broke through the defence around halfway on the right side slowed up and held up a pass well to Greg Lelesiuao who went in under the posts. Hudson converted to level the scores at 10-all.
Hayden Schwass put the Titans ahead two minutes before the break when Chris Law slipped him a nice ball from dummy half on the short left side on the last tackle. Hudson converted for a 16-10 half-time lead.
Hudson scored under posts and converted early in the second half for the Titans to lead 22-10, then a try to Josh Berkers and a penalty goal to both converted Hudson, saw the Titans get out to a 30-10 lead – after scoring 30 points straight.
The Roosters replied but Roberts-Davis scored his second for 34-10 with 13 minutes remaining. But this is under-20s football and 30 points are often scored in a half.
The Roosters scored four converted tries in eight minutes to level the scores at 34-all with five minutes remaining and Hastings, who dominated the match, looked as though they had snatched victory when he potted a field goal from 30 metres after the Roosters had had all the ball and momentum.
There was just under two minutes on the clock when he gave the Roosters a 35-34 lead.
But from a short kick-off to the right, Hayden Schwass gathered the ball, shook off a tackler and ran 45m to be brought down five metres short of the line. It was a big play by the second-rower who worked hard all match.
Winger Greg Lelesiuao went to dummy half and slid over the line with just one a minute remaining. Hudson converted.
Gold Training Titans 40 (Roberts-Davis 2, Lelelsiuao 2, Hudson, Berkers, D Schwass tries; Hudson 6 goals) def. Sydney Roosters 35 (Manu 3, Nicholls, Hastings, Mitchell try; Hastings 5 goals and field goal) at Central Coast Stadium.