Gold Training Titans under-20s five-eighth Josh Ralph scored three tries in a fine performance in their fighting loss to the in-form St George Illawarra Dragons tonight.
The loss made the Titans’ finals more difficult as the Dragons went to 10 games unbeaten at WIN Jubilee Oval tonight.
The Dragons won 30-22 against a gallant Titans who began the game well with a try in the second minute but couldn’t contain the big, mobile Dragons side.
The young Titans had the perfect start when second-rower Simione Fatafehi crossed in ten second minute on the right edge and Brian Kelly added the extras for a 6-0 lead against the home side that had not been beaten in nine games.
The Titans were so close to a second try in the ninth minute when Jed Cartwright offloaded to Brian Kelly down the left corridor and Kelly found Tyronne Roberts Davis but the pass was marginally forward.
They defended strongly against a big aggressive Dragons pack but the Dragons posted two long range tries in the last 12 minutes of the first half to take a 12-6 lead at the break.
And the Dragons went further ahead just when fullback Matt Dufty scored his second try to make the score 16-6.
The Titans hit back immediately through a sharp try from five-eighth Josh Ralph when he sliced through with pace and touched down under the posts. Tyronne Roberts-Davis converted for 16-12.
But the young Titans could not continue the pressure and the Dragons hit back within minutes down the left touchline when they too easily stacked numbers down the short side from close range.
Jai Field’s conversion from the touchline gave the home team a 22-12 lead but there were 22 minutes remaining.
It was yet another long range try that sunk the Titans. Right winger Tony Pellow broke clean through the middle of the ruck and changed direction twice and scored a 60-metre try, beating five along the way.
The Titans refused to concede however. Ralph scored his third try after Jed Cartwright offloaded down the left flank to Roberts-Davis. He chipped overhead and the Dragons failed to clean up in-goal and Brimson snuck through to force the ball.
Roberts-Davis converted for 28-18 with 10 minutes remaining but the Dragons yet again pulled away with a penalty goal to give them a 12-point lead.
Ralph scored his second try of the night with 90 seconds remaining but Roberts Davis missed the kick and the score remained 30-22.
Dragons 30 (Dufty 2, Field, Kemp, Pellow tries; Field 5 goals) beat Gold Coast Titans 22 (Ralph 3, Fatafehi tries; Roberts-Davis 3 goals)