The Gold Coast Titans finished their 2019 season with a disappointing 24-16 loss to the St George-Illawarra Dragons at Cbus Super Stadium on Saturday night.
In a battle of the bottom of the table, it was a tight first-half where defence was the key with the side’s only managing to trade a try a piece to go into the break tied up at 6-all.
But the match opened up in the second-half with the Dragons shooting out to 24-10 lead before a late Phillip Sami try ensured for a tight finish, but the Titans were unable to chase down the deficit and were forced to settle for the loss and finish 16th on the competition table.
We’ve dissected the loss and highlighted the below six features:
Farewell Flash – In his final career-game, fullback Michael Gordon was at his reliable best for the Titans and slotted two conversions. The veteran fullback also pulled off a great try-saver on Josh Kerr in the 53rd minute by pulling down the charging utility and hold him up over the line. From the following play the Titans forced the error and raced down the field to score through Rein.
Awesome Arrow – A shining light in the Titan’s season has been Jai Arrow and he was rewarded for his efforts to open the scoring in the 14th minute. After getting an offload from prop-partner Jarrod Wallace, Arrow straightened and dummied before powering his way over to score under the posts. The Queensland Origin representative didn’t stop there and put in a tireless effort running for 158 metres and making 28 tackles for the night.
Mighty Mitch – Playing against his former club, Mitch Rein pulled off a miracle try-saver on the much larger Paul Vaughan to deny the visitors a try in the 20th minute. Vaughan charged onto a deft pass from his dummy-half only five metres from the line and looked destined to bag his third try of the season, but Rein managed to get in under the ball and hold him up. Rein went from try-saver to try-scorer in the 54th minute playing against some scrambled defence the crafty hooker dummied his way through the line before pinning his ears back to race 40 metres and score.
Trying Tanah – After making his debut of the bench last week, Tanah Boyd was elevated into the starting line in the halfback position and his performance gave Titans fans hopes for the future. Despite a shaky start where he kicked the ball out on the full in general play, the youngster steadied the ship for the Titans and looked to have got across the line early in the second-half but was denied by a diving Korbin Sims who knocked the ball loose over the line. With Rein coming from the field, Boyd played the last 15 minutes in the dummy-half role with Ryley Jack going into the halves.
Gareth the Great – The 11,274 strong crowd at Cbus witnessed history being made as Dragons half Gareth Widdop converted the first of Ben Hunt’s tries in the 67th minute to become the first English player to register 1000 career points in the NRL. In what was his farewell NRL game, before heading back to the English Super League, Widdop was perfect with the boot converting four from four.
Super Sami..Again – The Titans winger pulled off another great wing try in the 74th minute in almost replica style to the one he produced in Round 15 against the Sea Eagles. With the line open but the Dragons sliding defence closing in, Sami launched himself Superman style to plant the ball down at full reach and grab his sixth try of the season. The try reduced the deficit and gave the home-crowd hope of a comeback, but the Titans fell just short.