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A first-half double from Kieran Foran has helped the Gold Coast Titans to back-to-back wins for the first time this season with a 26-24 victory to upset the Eels at Magic Round.

Entering the week under an injury cloud, Foran's two tries in the space of as many minutes – his first career double in eight years – help set the platform for a quality first half from the Titans that they would see through to the end despite Parramatta's best efforts at a comeback courtesy of a late Andrew Davey try.

The result capped off a spectacular Magic Round weekend with more than 147,000 fans in attendance to witness all four Queensland teams walking away victorious.

Titans forward David Fifita was once again in impressive form and will have no doubt caught the eye of Maroons coach Billy Slater as he pushes his case for a potential Origin recall, while Eels winger Maika Sivo continued his impressive try-scoring form with a hat-trick taking him to nine tries in his past six games.

Despite their first half dominance, Justin Holbrook's side fell behind on the scoreboard inside the opening two minutes of the game as Clint Gutherson put Sivo over for his 11th try of the year. 

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It wouldn't take long for the tide to turn, however, with Gutherson sin binned for a tackle off the ball on Alofiana Khan-Pereira, shifting Mitchell Moses to fullback and creating space on the Eels' right edge for the Titans to attack.

Just four minutes into Gutherson's sin bin and Foran had done just that – crossing for two tries in a game for the first time since 2015 to put his side up 10-4. 

Foran doubles up in quick time

The 32-year-old was denied a first half hat-trick when Khan-Pereira burst through down the left shortly after, instead opting for the spectacular with a chip over the top of Gutherson to touch down and extend the Titans lead to two converted tries.

Parramatta would begin the second in spookily similar fashion to the way they began the first – opening with an early try to Sivo after some clever work in the build-up from Dylan Brown, before a Gutherson error opened the door for more Titans points, this time a length-of-the-field intercept to Khan-Pereira.

Despite the errors, Parramatta continued to chance their arm and once again brought the match back into an arm wrestle with tries in the 54th and 56th minute to Sivo and Gutherson respectively cutting the Gold Coast's lead to just four.

Shifted into fullback for the game with AJ Brimson out for a month with a hamstring injury, it was Jayden Campbell who put the icing on the cake for the Titans nine minutes from full-time with his cut-out pass sending Philip Sami away down the right touchline, allowing Kelly to reach out and score the following play.

Kelly gives Titans a buffer

Parramatta were dealt another blow late on with star halfback Mitchell Moses taken from the field for a head injury assessment in the 73rd minute. The category one assessment means Moses will miss his side's Round 11 game against Canberra.

"He's fine now, but it wasn't good [at the time]," coach Brad Arthur said post-game. "We need to get all the advice from our doctors but the rules are 11 days so we'll go through the process and make the decision on what's best for Mitchell."

Match snapshot

  • Parramatta have now scored the opening try in each of their past nine games against the Titans, a streak dating back to 2017.
  • Having not scored a try all season, Gold Coast playmaker Kieran Foran scored two tries for the first time in a game since 2015.
  • Alofiana Khan-Pereira has scored 11 tries in his past eight games.
  • Eels playmaker Mitchell Moses was taken from the field for a head injury assessment seven minutes from full-time and did not return.
  • Ryan Matterson was impressive off the bench for Parramatta, amassing a game-high 242 metres from 22 runs in 53 minutes.
  • Titans skipper Tino Fa'asuamaleaui topped the tackle count with 44 to go with his 154 metres from 17 runs, four tackle breaks and two offloads
  • Maika Sivo scored his first hat-trick since 2021 against the Broncos.
  • The Titans win snapped a streak of seven straight defeats against the Eels.
  • The Titans have scored exactly 26 points in their past four games.

Play of the game

Khan-Pereira kick and chase for try

Khan-Pereira has scored 11 tries through 10 rounds of the 2023 season but none are better than the first-half effort he produced against the Eels. Sent clear down the left touchline after quick hands from Brian Kelly, the Titans flyer drew in Gutherson before producing a spectacular chip-and-chase effort to send the crowd wild.

What they said

"I just asked the team then, 'how did we lose it' because we had done more than enough to win it. I thought our effort was really good and we did more good things than bad but a couple of big moments and some system errors in defence hurt us. I thought he was really good tonight, Dylan. He stepped up, ran hard, and that’s two weeks in a row now he’s been like that. He’s done a really good job there and was trying to win the game for us. He was probably the best player on the field." – Eels coach Brad Arthur

"Things didn't go to plan in the second half but I'm proud of the way the boys showed that resilience and fought all the way to the end. There's times in the past when we haven't done that, so to be able to get that win tonight was awesome. I'm just excited for next week." – Titans captain Tino Fa'asamaleaui

NRL Press Conference: Titans v Eels - Round 10, 2023

What's next

Parramatta travel to the nation's capital to face the Raiders side that hasn't tasted defeat in over a month while the Titans head south to face the Knights at McDonald Jones Stadium. Newcastle will be feeling fresh after having the bye during Magic Round and desperate for a win having lost their last three games.

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.