The Aquis Gold Coast Titans have broken a five-match losing streak with a dominant second half performance to beat the Sydney Roosters 26-6 at Cbus Super Stadium tonight.
It took 39 minutes for the Titans to score their first try, when Agnatius Paasi miraculously stretched out to reach the line.
That gave the home side an 8-6 half-time lead and that try was a crucial moment as it gave Neil Henry’s men some reward from a first half which they dominated possession and territory with another strong completion rate of 80%.
After the Roosters were denied a controversial try in the 59th minute, the Titans outfit regrouped and were rewarded for their patience and composure in the final stanza of the half to produce three unanswered tries in the final 16 minutes to take the two competition points and edge just outside of the top eight on the competition ladder.
Coach Henry said he was pleased with his side’s ability close the game out with an inspired performance coming off over five losses.
“It was good to see Ash Taylor and Tyrone Roberts command the ball and run a bit more and really get the boys around the park. The older players stood up to, it’s a physical battle against their pack and I thought the boys were really good tonight in the middle,” he said.
“We took some opportunities for a chance which was great. We put a nice play to score in the corner for Mead’s try and that’s something we’ve been working on the execution was there and we got rewarded for it.
“It was good to see that at the back end when we had a few points on the board that defence meant something to us and we scrambled to save some tries and didn’t concede any more points which was important.
“It’s reward for a bit of a tough five weeks for the club and we’ve been close a couple of times and on the back of the big loss at home to the Storm.
“Tonight we needed to hang in against a side that are pretty dangerous and I thought we did a good job out on the edges, we were a bit more aggressive and I think we handled Ferguson really well.
“Our next challenge goes next week with a six day turnaround to Penrith, who were very impressive against the Warriors and have lost some tight games this year and are playing some good footy. It doesn’t get any easier but we know that we can get in a grind and we’ve done that with a couple of tight losses and a good win tonight to shut them out is confident for our guys.
“It is going to be a tough road trip but I think we’ve certainly got a team that can win on any day and we need to keep on producing some results.”
Captain William Zillman said it was a great performance by Tyrone Roberts and Ash Taylor to stay composed and guide the side to victory.
“I felt our attack was a lot better this week and we controlled the ball better as well. There was a lot more patience and that came largely from our halves who directed play and demanded the ball,” he said
“We got across the line a couple of time (only to be denied) but we persevered and that showed in the end.
“I thought our halves really stepped up tonight and controlled the team really well and our forwards got forward for us as well which was great.
“We had a good week training this week and I knew the guys were going to turn up tonight, there was a good feeling in the camp and onwards and upwards from here hopefully.”
After a mountain of early possession thanks to four unanswered penalties, the Titans opened the scoring with a Tyrone Roberts penalty goal to take a slim 2-0 lead after seven minutes of play.
The Titans run of possession continued but they were kept at bay by some great scrambling Roosters defence who withstood a barrage of pressure before receiving their own run of penalties to take a kick-at-goal to level the game up at 2-all after 20 minutes.
It was the Roosters who opened the try scoring in the 34th minute after a great Jared Waera-Hargraves offload put a flying Latrell Mitchell into the clear before the speedy youngster outpaced the Titans defence to score in the corner and give the away-side a 6-2 lead.
A penalty piggy-backed the Titans up-field and they took full advantage on this occasion with Agnatius Paasi forcing his way across the line to score under the posts to give Roberts an easy conversion and the Titans a narrow 8-6 half-time lead.
After going set-for-set, it was the Roosters who got across the line in the 59th minute but were denied by the bunker who ruled Titans half Ash Taylor was impeded in the process of defending the attacking play.
There was no stopping the Titans in the 54th minute with Roberts throwing a lovely cut-out pass to winger David Mead to score in the corner. With Roberts converting the try, the Titans lead 14-6 with 15 minutes remaining.
The Titans were forced into a backline reshuffle with Mead succumbing to a leg injury shifting Chris McQueen to centre and Josh Hoffman to the wing.
The reshuffle didn’t hinder the Titans left edge attack with McQueen slicing through the Roosters defence before putting a nice in-and-away on Mitchell to score under the posts before Roberts added the extras to give the Titans a 20-6 lead with just under ten minutes remaining.
The Titans extended their lead in the 74th minute when William Zillman showed great determination to beat Mitchell and the dead-ball line to ground a Taylor grubber before Roberts converted to secure the 26-6 victory.
The Titans will look to take this momentum with them when they take on the Penrith Panthers at Pepper Stadium next Sunday.
Gold Coast Titans 26 (A Paasi, D Mead, C McQueen, W Zillman tries; T Roberts 5 goals) defeated Sydney Roosters 6(L Mitchell tries; J Hastings 1 goals)