Despite a spirited and improved performance, the Gold Coast Titans couldn’t put an end to their losing seven-match losing streak and went down 36-12 to the Parramatta Eels at Cbus Super Stadium in Women in League Round on Friday night.
The Titans put in a competitive first-half performance to go set-for-set with the Eels and produce some great scrambling defence to keep the high-flying Eels to just two tries and trail 12-6 at the break.
But the Eels showed they are real contenders this season, putting in a blitzing second-half performance led around superbly by Mitchell Moses, to register four unanswered tries to take the 36- 12 victory.
We’ve dissected the loss and identified six key features of the match.
Kelly Crosses – Brian Kelly opened the Titans scoring in unique fashion in 28th minute. The centre juggled a stray ball after a grubber kick ricocheted into his hands before dummying his way across the line to cross for his eighth try of the season.
King Arthars – After just nine career games, Titans rookie winger Jesse Arthars crossed for his maiden NRL try in the 77th minute of the contest. Arthars was denied two tries in his debut game against the Sharks but there was no denying the winger tonight as he finished off a classy back-line play to cross in the corner.
Mighty Mo – In a disappointing season, a shining light for the Titans has been the emergence of young prop-forward Moeaki Fotuaika and the barnstorming 19-year-old impressed again in the loss to the Eels. The prop had the leading run-metres for the contest notching up a massive 198 metres from 19 runs.
Rein’s Runs – After earning his recall to the starting hooking position last week, Mitch Rein tried his heart out again for the Titans. Starting at dummy-half, his running game caused the Eels defence troubles early on, with the crafty hooker splitting the markers but the pass to Nathan Peats, playing in the lock position, went to ground. He continued to threaten the defensive line and made nine dummy-half runs for 75 metres. Rein’s defence was also commendable, making 49 tackles playing in the middle.
Watkins Wounded – Titans mid-season English recruit, Kallum Watkins has also brought spark to the side’s right edge since making his debut in Round 19 and the centre looked impressive matching up against former Australian representative centre, Michael Jennings. Unfortunately, his night ended in the 57th minute after suffering a back/hip injury after producing a slick in-and-away on Jennings to get Jesse Arthars in the clear.
Kick Diffusions – The boot of Mitchell Moses caused the Titans troubles all night with the Eels registering two tries off the back of kicks. The most concerning for coaches Craig Hodges and Luke Burt would be Shaun Lane’s try in the 45th minute where the Titans didn’t even contest the kick but didn’t make the numbers up in defence to stop Lane from barging over from five-metres out to cross for a try and break the half-time deadlock. From here the Eels got their momentum and ran away with the contest.
The Titans will head down to Melbourne to take on the Storm at AAMI Park on Sunday.