The Gold Training Gold Coast Titans under 20s have registered back-to-back wins with a 32-24 victory over the Canberra Raiders at Cbus Super Stadium this afternoon.
The young Titans started the match full of energy and produced a dominant first-half performance to post five unanswered tries and go into the half-time break with a 28-0 lead.
The second-half was a different game with the Raiders hitting back and scoring three tries in quick succession to reduce the Titans lead back to 28-16 after 65 minutes and ensure for a tight finish.
But the deficit proved too big for the visitors to overcome with the Titans coming away with the 32-24 win and the two competition points.
An early error by the Raiders gifted the Titans prime attacking position and they took full advantage with lock-forward Reihana Marsh crossing to open the scoring. With Ethan Roberts converting the home-side took an early 6-0 lead.
The Titans were forced into a backline reshuffle in the fifth minute with fullback Tye Williams coming from the field with an injury.
But the reshuffle didn’t stop the Titans momentum with Apiata Noema running a tough line to cross next to the posts to give Roberts an easy conversion for a 12-0 lead after 11 minutes.
From the resulting kick-off, the Titans went the length of the field with Corey Manicaros finishing off a great play to reel in a kick and score under the posts for an 18-0 lead.
With the momentum and possession in their favour the Titans extended their lead in the 22nd minute with Jake Sparey collecting a deft AJ Brimson cross-field kick before producing some acrobatic work in the air to get the ball down before going into touch to give the Titans a 22-0 lead.
The Titans first-half dominance continued when they crossed for their fifth try through Daniel Brownbill who collected a Roberts kick to score out wide. With Roberts adding the extras the Titans took a 28-0 lead going into the half-time break.
The second-half started with the two-sides going set-for-set before a Titans error gifted the Raiders attacking position and they opened their scoring through utility Zac Patch before Harry Van Dartel added the extras to reduce the deficit back to 28-6 after 51 minutes of play.
The Raiders went back-to-back in the 58th minute after Patch snuck out of dummy-half before getting a pass away to a barnstorming William Samuel to cross. With Van Dartel unable to convert, the Titans lead stayed at 28-10 with 20 minutes remaining.
With the momentum in their favour, the Raiders went the length of the field in the 65th minute with Mikaele Ravalawa finishing off the play to score adjacent to the posts before Van Dartel added the extras to reduce the Titans lead back to 28-16 going into the final 13 minutes.
But the Titans put an end to the Raiders comeback efforts in the 70th minute with Brownbill breaking through the defence to cross for his second try for the afternoon to give the side a 32-16 lead.
But the Raiders scored two late tries with captain Kalani Going crossing in the 75th minute and Ravalaw getting his second in the 80th to reduce the full-time deficit back to 32-24.
The Titans will look to continue their winning way when they take on the Brisbane Broncos at Suncorp Stadium next Friday night.
Gold Coast Titans 32(D Brownbill 2, R Marsh, A Noema C Manicaros, J Sparey tries; E Roberts 4 goals) defeated Canberra Raiders 24 (M Ravalawa 2, Z Patch, W Samuel tries; H Van Dartel 3 goals)