Jamal Fogarty was so desperately close to becoming the ultimate comeback hero but one small mistake in an otherwise brilliant game will haunt the Gold Coast co-captain.
Fogarty was the catalyst for what could have been the equal greatest comeback in NRL history, inspiring the Titans out of a 30-4 deficit to a 34-30 lead until some late magic from Sydney Roosters rookie half Sam Walker with a field goal to secure the 35-34 win.
The Titans No.7 had possibly his finest game of the season, scoring two tries, setting up two more and booting five conversions as the Gold Coast again pushed one of the top teams only to fall short at the death.
They lost by just six points against premiers the Storm a week earlier.
With scores tied 34-all Fogarty wasn’t ready for a Tyrone Peachey pass as he was setting up for a field goal attempt - his dropped ball giving the Roosters ideal field position to set up for their own shot at victory.
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It could have been the greatest moment of Fogarty’s short NRL career but yet again in this hot-and-cold Titans season the good was slightly overshadowed by the bad. The result was their fourth loss in their past five games.
"Yeah he did some great things for us absolutely and he tried really hard but unfortunately he fumbled that one at the end and if he didn’t and passed it on and we scored then he is man of the match and we’re talking about it differently," Titans coach Justin Holbrook said.
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"That is just what we’ve got to change now. We had an opportunity to win last week and didn’t and we did the same again today.
"It's really disappointing and obviously not enjoyable for anyone to go down like that. It could've been a great comeback but we weren't good enough to finish it off."
The 26-point deficit would have equalled North Queensland’s effort in 1998 to beat Penrith had they held on to win, but instead it will be remembered as the most points the Titans have scored in defeat after poor defence again killed them.
While Holbrook concedes there'd be few coaches in the NRL content with their defence this year with all the high scoring, the manner in which his team has offered up points is especially hard to stomach.
"Absolutely we don't want to be down that far (30-4). We were close to be sitting here winning that game. That's the way game is now it is all momentum shifts," Holbrook said.
"I honestly sit here and I don’t think there’s too many sides that are happy with their defence.
"We did have the run of the game early and couldn’t get over ourselves. Then they get down near our line and three or four blokes make a tackle off a scrum and all fall off to the side and they just put the ball over from dummy half.
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"We are working so hard to come up with points against a great opposition who held us up three or four times and then they rolled down the other end just went bang. That's what we've got to get better at."
Holbrook was upset that the bunker didn’t overrule Angus Crichton’s first-half try where fullback Jayden Campbell produced a superb low tackle. The Roosters second rower appeared to crawl to the line after his arm had hit the ground.
"I was disappointed I thought his arm hit the ground and he used his other arm. That’s tough at the minute," Holbrook said.
The Titans host Manly at Cbus Super Stadium next Sunday with winger Corey Thompson a chance to return from ankle injury.