The Gold Coast Titans suffered a disappointing 6-4 loss the North Queensland Cowboys at Cbus Super Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
In a tight encounter, the Titans took a slim lead into the half-time break before conceding a try to the Cowboys in the 50th minute.
The side had two opportunities to level the scores on the back of penalty-goals in the final stanza of the match but both sailed wide, leaving the Titans to lament another missed opportunity for the season.
We’ve dissected the loss and highlighted six key features of the match:
Proctor Power – With Jai Arrow away on Origin duties, the Titans forward-pack needed to fire and Kiwi International Kevin Proctor took the mantle as the leader. Proctor was a handful down the right-edge taking 17 tough hit-ups and making 42 tackles. The second-rower produced the offload which lead to the Titans first try in the 21st minute drawing-in three tacklers before the ball was spread to the opposite wing for Dale Copley to cross in the corner. With the Cowboys mounting pressure early in the second-half, Proctor also produced a great one-percent-play in the 52nd minute to dive on a loose ball and swing possession back in the home-side’s favour.
Wallace Warms to the Challenge – After being omitted from Kevin Walters Origin side, Jarrod Wallace was a man determined to get back to the form which earnt him selection last year and the Titans prop-forward was one of the best on ground. Wallace lead the running metres with 210 from 19-hit-ups and was also instrumental in defence making 22 tackles, with the most important an ankle-tap to stop a flying Kyle Feldt who looked ready to race the length of the field and score in the final ten minutes of the match.
Fotuaika Follows – Following in the lead of senior players Proctor and Wallace, Titans young-bull Moeaki Fotuaika went toe-to-toe with the Cowboys star-studded pack and was one of the most dominant forces on the field. The hulking prop ran for 207 metres from 19 attempts and made a whopping 39 tackles. With this performance, the young forward seems to have cemented his position as starting prop in Garth Brennan’s side.
Copley Crosses – Fresh off a hat-trick against Manly last week, Copley added to his try tally by registering the Titans only four-pointer by finishing a lovely side-to-side play in the 21st minute. The try takes Copley to a total of nine for the season, the most in the club with Anthony Don behind him on six.
Kelly goes close – The Titans looked to have pulled the miracle comeback off in the final play of the game. With the Cowboys defence staggered, utility Tyrone Peachey grubbered ahead for himself and collected the ball before offloading to Brian Kelly who dived for the corner but was stopped by a desperate Kyle Feldt who produced a great ball-and-all tackle to force the centre into touch and hand his side the vistory.
Cowboys Curse – The Cowboys have been a bogey side for the Titans who last notched up a victory over their Northern cousins in 2014. The Titans looked to have put that behind them after taking a 4-0 half-time lead but they were unable to go on with the match and despite completing at 85% for the match were forced to settle for their 15th loss to the Cowboys.
The Titans will head up the M1 to take on the Brisbane Broncos at Suncorp on Sunday afternoon.