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Sea Eagles hold off spirited Titans in see-sawing clash

A Tom Trbojevic double helped Manly to overcome a spirited Titans outfit and deny their former coach Des Hasler his first win since taking charge of the club this season.

In a see-sawing match at Cbus Super Stadium, in which the lead changed seven times, the Sea Eagles ran out 34-30 winners to inflict Gold Coast's sixth loss of the season and Hasler's 13th consecutive defeat as a coach since July 16, 2022.

Manly skipper Daly Cherry-Evans had a rare off night with the boot, putting a kick out on the full and enabling the Titans to gain two seven tackle sets by kicking into the in-goal on the full.   

After a spirited and controversial loss to Canberra last weekend, the hopes of the Titans achieving their first win of the season against the Sea Eagles appeared unlikely after just eight minutes.

Trbojevic opened the scoring after dummying and stepping inside Brian Kelly for his first try and the Sea Eagles found space on their right edge again for Jason Saab to cross in the corner.

Tom Trbojevic Try

However, the Titans hit back through Alofiana Khan-Pereira as Kieran Foran stamped his mark on the game with a long, looping pass for the unmarked winger to score in the 14th minute.

Khan-Pereira then grabbed his second try just five minutes later after Foran held up a pass to send centre Brian Kelly racing away before passing to his winger to score and Tanah Boyd's conversion gave the Titans a 12-10 lead.

Strike forward Haumole Olakau'atu put the visitors back in front when he crashed over in the 25th minute but the injection of David Fifita from the interchange had an immediate impact after he scored from dummy half.

David Fifita Try

AJ Brimson, who was playing at fullback due to injuries to Jayden Campbell and Phillip Sami, then extended Gold Coast's lead when he soared above Trbojevic to snatch a banana kick by Foran and score.

However, Trbojevic made amends to reduce the Manly's halftime deficit to 24-22 when he sent Saab racing down the touchline and backed up on the inside to score in the 39th minute.

The Sea Eagles started the second half like they did the first when speedster Tolutau Koula intercepted a Tannah Boyd pass and sprinted 60 metres to score in the 44th minute.

Tom Trbojevic 2nd Try

However, the game continued to see-saw, with Brimson putting Boyd over in the 53rd minute and Ethan Bullemor replying just two minutes later to give Manly a 34-30 lead.   

Tanah Boyd Try

Both teams had chances to score more points in the latter stages of the match but were unable to do so and the Sea Eagles hung on to record their fourth win of the season.  

Match snapshot

  • The Titans have scored 100 points in their last three games against the Sea Eagles.
  • The Sea Eagles have now won five of their past six games at Cbus Super Stadium.
  • Titans strike forward David Fifita has scored in five consecutive matches against Manly.
  • Titans fullback AJ Brimson has scored seven tries in nine games against the Sea Eagles.
  • Sea Eagles centre Reuben Garrick has scored 66 points in his last four games at Cbus Super Stadium.
  • Titans coach Des Hasler had won seven of his last eight games coaching against the Sea Eagles for the Bulldogs, but has not celebrated a victory since July 16, 2022 when Manly beat Newcastle.

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Play of the game

After inspiring the Titans to overcome a horror start to the match, Kieran Foran helped ensure they went to halftime in front after producing a banana kick that saw AJ Brimson climb above Tom Trbojevic to regather and score. 

AJ Brimson Try

What they said

"It was disappointing from our point of view. We let them out to a 10-point lead but we showed a lot of character once we got into that set to set. We are a pretty tight footy side and to get 10 points back in any game is pretty good. They are trying really hard and the effort is there, but it's not appearing on the scoreboard ,nor is it appearing on the ladder. No one remembers this game, just the result and where we are" - Titans coach Des Hasler.

Titans: Round 7

"The pleasing thing is we managed the back end of that game really well. I thought our leaders did a good job there. There is obviously disappointment at leaking 30 points but we came here to get a result and we did fortunately. Tommy was outstanding, he came up with some big really big plays in the game. He is a special player. Chez [Daly Cherry-Evans] managed the back end of the game, and I thought Jake Trbojevic was tremendous with his effort parts of the game so that was pleasing," - Sea Eagles coach Anthony Seibold.   

Sea Eagles: Round 7

What's next 

The Titans travel to Auckland to face the Warriors on Thursday for the start of a new ANZAC Day tradition in New Zealand, while the Sea Eagles host the Eels on Friday night in the continuation of an historic rivalry.

Gold Coast coach Des Hasler hopes to have Phil Sami (ankle) and Keenan Palasia (quad) back for the match against the Warriors.

Sea Eagles coach Anthony Seibold will welcome prop Josh Aloiai back from suspension, while Nathan Brown (knee) may also be available 




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.