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Breayley-Nati double helps Titans to first-ever NRLW win

The script couldn't have been written any better for the Titans' first-ever NRLW win, with courageous captain Brittany Breayley-Nati leading the charge in the 26-16 victory over the Sydney Roosters in Wollongong.

The Gold Coast leader was inspirational in her second appearance in new colours, dominating the stats sheet with two tries - including the clincher in the 69th minute, two try-assists, two line-breaks and a whopping 34 tackles to help create history for the Titans in their inaugural season.

The recent deluge over the past week on the Gold Coast helped the side adapt quickly to the wet and blustery conditions in the Illawarra, rectifying last week's ball security issue and building on their defensive effort to get the much-needed two points to move into the top four after Round 2.

Match highlights: Roosters v Titans

Match summary

It didn't take long for the Titans to put first points on the board when debutant Jasmine Peters crashed over in the 4th minute. With Destiny Brill tackled millimetres from the line, captain Brittany Breayley-Nati fired a cut-out pass to her right, and the tap from Evania Pelite helped Peters latch onto the ball and dive over, beating four defenders in the process.

The blue and gold were in again six minutes later, when Karina Brown scored her maiden NRLW try in her fourth season. The experienced back hadn't been able to find the chalk in her previous 11 appearances until today, when the Queensland and Jillaroos winger dived on a perfectly-weighted grubber kick from Grace Griffin.

Karina Brown extends the Titans lead

The Roosters got their first points on the board in the 19th minute when winger Leianne Tufuga caught the right side defence short, but the Titans hit back through experienced forward Tazmin Gray three minutes after opposition points.

A proven performer on the big stage, it was an iconic crash play on the left edge to get over, running the perfect line to beat defenders and keep the scoreboard ticking along at 16-6.

Into the second half and after playing her hand in two four-pointers already, it was time for the captain to get points of her own, crashing over from dummy-half right under the posts in the 47th minute to lead 22-6.

Breayley-Nati darts from dummy-half to extend the Titans advantage

The Roosters scored the last two tries with Sarah Togatuki crossing in the 50th minute and Olivia Kernick closing the margin in the 65th minute, setting the game up for a frantic finish, with the Titans needing to keep the Roosters at bay for the competition points.

Throwing everything at the contest in a helter-skelter final few minutes, it was the Gold Coast skipper who stood up and took control of the game, hitting and spinning before barging over to ice a blue and gold victory, winning their first ever NRLW match in only their second appearance.

Brittany Breayley-Nati secures the victory for the Titans

Key talking points

  • Ball security was on top of the agenda at training this week and the focus on holding the footy paid off, completing 29 from 39 sets in the pouring rain.
  • In only 50 minutes on the field, Brittany Breayley-Nati was outstanding in the No. 9 jersey. Her creativity at dummy-half led to her involvement in all but one of the Titans' tries and the experienced rake topped the tackle count with 34 at a perfect 100 percent effectiveness.
  • Steph Hancock's promotion to the starting line-up was a stroke of genius from coach Jamie Feeney as the powerhouse veteran dominated, making 81 metres across 10 runs - 30 post-contact metres and was involved in 16 tackles across 46 minutes.
  • Tazmin Gray's efforts in today's match deserve an honourable mention and the edge forward was rewarded with a four-pointer. Always one of the best on the field, the 26-year-old ran for 123 metres in 16 runs; almost half of those metres post-contact.
  • Both NRLW debutants Jasmine Peters and April Ngatupuna had games they will remember for some time. Not only were they part of the first Titans win, but Peters scored the opening try of the contest and Ngatupuna got through a mountain of work, clocking up 83 metres in 10 runs.

Injury / judiciary concerns

  • Front rower Shannon Mato left the field in the 64th minute with a suspected left knee injury. She will be assessed upon her return to the Gold Coast. Brianna Clark is expected to return from her back injury next week, and Ngatupuna showed she is more than capable of playing off the pine again should Mato be unavailable through injury.
  • No Titans were placed on report through the match and no charges are expected, pending the NRL match review committee findings to be released on Monday.
Acknowledgement of Country

Gold Coast Titans proudly acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we are situated, the Kombumerri families of the Yugambeh Language Region. We pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging, and recognise their continuing connections to the lands, waters and their extended communities throughout South East Queensland.