The young Titans have fallen just short of toppling Intrust Super Cup premiers Burleigh in their trail tonight at Pizzey Park, with the Bears surviving a late surge from the Titans to hang on for an 18-16 win.
Titans coach Justin Holbrook used the game to put some miles in the legs of a few established stars, but rested the majority of his top squad with an eye on next weekend’s major trial against the Broncos in Redcliffe.
The Bears led 18-4 late in the second half before the Titans’ attack ignited, coming back to within two points and with all the running in the dying minutes of the game.
Errors prevented the Titans from capitalising however, and the Bears were able to hang on for a well-deserved win.
Son of a gun Jayden Campbell, playing his first game as a Titan, looked sharp in the back-end of the second half with a number of quality touches, and was the man largely responsible for starting the Titans’ surge
Campbell, the son of Titans legend Preston, produced a moment of magic for the highlights reel by scorching 90 metres across the turf to reel in flying Burleigh winger Will Evans, who seemed certain to score after nabbing an intercept while the Titans were on the attack.
Campbell, who had earlier played a hand in the try to Jonus Pearson to get the Titans back in the hunt at 18-10, not only reeled Evans in metres from the tryline, but managed to force an error from the Burleigh winger in the process, saving the day for the Titans.
It was just the spark the Titans needed, and after being well behind for most of the match, the Titans used the momentum to full advantage, crossing again through another first-game rookie, Toby Sexton.
Ultimately though the Titans just gave Burleigh too much headstart.
Among the first-grade regulars, props Shannon Boyd and Jarrod Wallace were both strong, winger Dale Copley had a number of powerful runs and centre Brian Kelly had moments of quality.
Among the new faces, hooker Erin Clark continued to impress after a very positive showing at the NRL Nines in Perth, while young halves Tanah Boyd and Sexton both acquitted themselves well.
The Titans found the going tough in the first half against a predictably enthusiastic Bears team looking to make a statement against their NRL affiliate, and Burleigh took a very handy 12-4 lead into the break.
The Titans spent most of the opening minutes camped inside the Burleigh 20-metre zone, with the Gold Coast forward pack doing a good job of eating up the metres in the middle of the park, but the Titans were unable to break through to get points on the board.
Clark got the Titans up and running just a few minutes from halftime when he potted a 40-20 from dummy-half to get the Titans on the attack.
He backed that up with another surge close to the line to put the Titans on the back foot, and after moving the ball to the right, the Titans swung back to the left and found enough space for Copley to cross in the corner, reducing the deficit to 12-4 at the break.
BEARS 18 (Kurtis Rowe 2, Luke Page tries; Jamal Fogarty 3 goals) d TITANS 16 (Dale Copley, Jonus Pearson, Toby Sexton tries; Tanah Boyd 2 goals) at Pizzey Park, Burleigh.