The Titans NYC side have put in a dominant performance to defeat the Panthers 52-32 at Pepper Stadium today.
Whilst it was tit-for-tat early, it was all one-way traffic in the second half with the Titans scoring five second half tries and 10 in total.
Coach Ben Woolf was able to have his 1-17 run out for the match in Sydney’s west and his young men got the ideal start.
From the kick-off, the Panthers made an error and the Titans were straight on the attack. On just the third tackle hooker Corey Manicaros held it up nicely for Moeaki Fotuaika and the prop forward crashed over to score under the uprights. Ethan Roberts converted to give the side an early 6-nil lead after just two minutes.
One of the major points a Coach makes is to complete the set after scoring points and unfortunately Woolf’s side were unable to do that. It almost looked like a training run for the Panthers, with fullback Caleb Aekins simply cruising through the defensive line and going over to score. Halfback Dean Blore converted from the sideline to level it up at 6-all, after six minutes.
Back to back penalties brought about back to back tries for the Titans. The first being scored from a simple left to right shift and Curtis Dansey-Smaller went over in the north-east corner, whilst the second was off the back of some crafty work by Manicaros, turning it back on the inside for Phillip Sami who crashed over. Roberts converted one of the two attempts at goal, with the score jumping out to 16-6 after 16 minutes.
The Titans struggled from the kick-off again, spilling it from the restart and again the Panthers made them pay. Close to the line Panthers hooker Wayde Egan threw the dummy and burrowed under the defensive line to score. Blore converted, score now 16-12.
Each try was coming off the back of penalties and errors which continued in the 26th minute. The Titans got a penalty coming out of trouble and with the opportunity to put on a set play, the young side didn’t disappoint. On this occasion it was a shift from right to left and winger Tre Williams finished it off. Tyronne Roberts-Davis took over the kicking duties but couldn’t convert from out wide, Titans 20 – Panthers 12.
A brilliant piece of play brought about the Titans fifth try with Roberts, Roberts-Davis and Dansey-Smaller all playing a big part. It was a held-up pass and two flick passes that ended in the hands of centre Daniel Brownbill who went over to score. Roberts took back the kicking duties and converted with the lead extended out to 26-12, after 35 minutes.
On the stroke of half-time, the Panthers rolled their set through the middle and with the defence reeling, Vondel Williams-Liolevave snuck through the line and went over to score. Blore couldn’t convert, with Woolf’s men holding on to a 26-16 lead at the break.
The second half started in similar fashion to the first with the Titans going over for a four-pointer. Again it was heavy involvement from Roberts and Roberts-Davis, with Brownbill the benefactor, going over to register a double. Roberts pulled the conversion attempt and the score was left at 30-16 after 43 minutes.
The carnage continued with Fotuaika registering a double in the 50th minute. AJ Brimson played two parts in the lead-up but it was the grubber on the last tackle that set it up. The prop forward turned on the after-burners, winning the race to the ball and scoring under the uprights. Roberts Davis converted, Titans 36 – Panthers 16.
Brimson registers his own try in the 58th minute, stepping of the left foot twice and slicing through to score. Roberts-Davis again converted to extend the lead out to 42-16.
The attack continued and Sami scored his second and third in as many minutes, taking the score to the half-century mark. It was pleasing to see and the young Titans celebrated the milestone accordingly. Roberts-Davis converted with the score now 52-16.
The Panthers scored three consolation tries through Mose Feilo, Daniel Brown and Ben Cartwright but it was all too little, too late for the home side with the Titans heading back to the Gold Coast with a 52-32 victory.
TITANS 52 (Sami 3, Brownbill 2, Fotuaika 2, Dansey-Smaller, Williams, Brimson Tries; Roberts 3, Roberts-Davis 3 Goals)
PANTHERS 32 (Aekins, Egan, Williams-Liolevave, Feilo, Brown, Cartwright Tries; Blore 4 Goals)
At: Pepper Stadium, Penrith