The Aquis Gold Coast Titans have suffered a heavy 54-0 defeat in their South-East Queensland derby with the Brisbane Broncos at Cbus Super Stadium tonight.
In their biggest-ever defeat, the Titans were simply outclassed by the Broncos who were lead superbly around the field by their halves with stand-in hooker Ben Hunt scoring a hat-trick and setting-up three tries while halfback Kodi Nikorima bagged a double.
The loss was compounded by a knee injury to halfback Ash Taylor who was forced from the field midway through the second-half.
With the loss the Titans are also out of contention for the Finals season with the side needing to win all of their remaining games to be a mathematical shot.
The Titans had the early advantage forcing multiple goal-line drop-outs to camp themselves on the Broncos line but were unable to convert the possession into points.
After weathering the defensive storm, back-to-back penalties put the Broncos on the attack and they took full advantage with crafty hooker Kodi Nikorima slicing his way through the defence to score under the posts. With Jordan Kahu converting the try, the visitors took a 6-0 lead after 25minutes.
The Broncos made the Titans pay for a poor last play option in the 31st minute with the visitors getting their second-try of the night through returning winger Corey Oates. On the back of momentum from the quick 20-metre tap, the Broncos mounted a blind-side play with Tautua Mogo producing a brilliant offload for Oates to race 40 metres and score in the corner to extend their lead out to 10-0.
The Titans looked to have got across the line in the 38th minute when a quick-tap by Ryan James caught the Broncos napping before he put Anthony Don across the line but the bunker ruled the winger lost the ball in the process of grounding the ball.
The Broncos rubbed salt into the wound in the resulting set with Ben Hunt dummying his way across the line from dummy-half to score adjacent to the posts. With Kahu converting, the Broncos took a 16-0 lead into the break.
The second-half got off to a fiery start with James and former teammate James Roberts having a melee after Roberts took offence to a James tackle on his wing-couterpart Kahu. Despite the appearance of a jersey-punch, Roberts escaped punishment from the referee.
But it was the Broncos who took advantage in the 48th minute with Hunt grabbing his second-try of the night after fielding his own ricocheted grubber kick to plant it down next to the posts to give Kahu an easy conversion and his side a 22-0 lead.
The Titans were lucky to not find themselves trailing further in the 53rd minute after the Broncos were on the attack but Moga was unable to ground a grubber in-goal.
There was no stopping the Broncos in the 55th minute though with Anthony Milford opting to run the ball on the last before a series of razzle-dazzle passed up the middle resulted in Roberts scoring under the posts. Kahu converted from in-front to give the Broncos a 28-0 lead.
The Broncos dominance continued and they extended their lead in the 63rd minute with Hunt putting a deft grubber in for a flying Milford to collect and outpace the Titans defence to race away and score in the corner for a 32-0 lead.
The Broncos combination of Hunt and Milford struck again in the following set with Hunt following a Milford bust up the middle to score his third-try of the night. Kahu made easy work of the conversion to give the visitors for a 38-0 lead with 15 minutes remaining.
The Titans woes worsened in the 68th minute with Hunt making a break from the scrum before getting a pass away to Oates who galloped 60 metres down-field to score under the posts, giving Kahu another easy conversion and the side a 44-0 lead with ten minutes remaining.
The Broncos turned defence into attack in the dying minutes of the match with Nikorima picking up a loose ball on his own 10 metre line before racing 90 metres down-field to grab his second try of the night and give his side a 48-0 lead with under ten minutes remaining.
The Broncos finished the game in style with Josh McGuire scoring under the posts in the final minute of the match. With Milford converting the Broncos took the 54-0 win which is the Titans heaviest ever defeat.
The Titans will look to hit-back next week when they take on the St George-Illawarra Dragons at UOW Jubilee Stadium.
Brisbane Broncos 54 (B Hunt 3, C Oates 2, K Nikorima 2, J Roberts, A Milford, J McGuire tries; J Kahu 6, A Milford 1 goals) defeated Gold Coast Titans 0