You have skipped the navigation, tab for page content
Key three: Controversy dampens Cbus classic against ladder-leading Storm

The Gold Coast have fallen agonisingly short of taking down the ladder leaders at Cbus Super Stadium, keeping the Melbourne Storm try-less in the final 40 minutes in a 22-20 thriller on Saturday night.

Ending with the Bunker denying the Titans any chance of a Hail Mary play by questionable ruling a Nick Meaney lost ball as a strip, the home side showed courage and fight to remain toe-to-toe with one of the competition favourites in an enthralling 80 minutes of end-to-end footy.

Facing adversity from just after kick-off with the loss of Tanah Boyd to a wrist injury, the Titans gradually clawed back the Storm's 14-point lead from the 33rd minute to draw level with the competition juggernauts in the final 20 minutes.

Here are the key talking points from the match:

Controversy dampens Cbus classic against ladder leaders

Titans fans and rugby league commentators were left scratching their heads in the final minute when The Bunker deemed Jojo Fifita to strip Nick Meaney of the ball, denying the Titans any chance of a final set to try and produce a moment of magic to claim back-to-back wins for a season revival.

Met with criticism on-field from captain Kieran Foran after the decision was handed down by the video referee, Fox League experts Andrew Voss and James Graham agreed.

"He’s trying to offload the ball and you call that a strip… you can’t do it," Foran pleaded with match referee Belinda Sharpe upon the decision being handed down.

Whilst receiving a fortuitous call earlier in the contest with Phil Sami's try in the 35th minute green-lighted despite being questioned for a potential knock-on, the decision dampened the final 60 seconds of a classic clash with the Gold Coast fan base unhappy with the match-defining decision.

Coach Des Hasler weighed in on the matter in his post-match press conference, labelling the decision a 50-50 call that could be discussed for some time.

"You get some [calls] and you lose some... unfortunately, the ones that you lose are always the hardest," he said.

"We could talk for half a day about the strip at the end and whether it was or wasn't a strip, but at the end of the day, that doesn't help the result in any way."

Outstanding AJ further fuels spine healthy headache

Despite the match being another heartbreaker for the Titans in the final moments, Cbus Super Stadium played host to another electric performance by AJ Brimson at fullback.

Coming off a player of the match performance in New Zealand last week, Brimson was the only player on the park to score a try in the second half - finding the line for a second time in the 57th minute, only for it to be overturned due to obstruction in the lead-up. 

Brimson cuts them open

Falling just two points short in the clash, Brimson looked likely to create something with every touch of the ball, contributing an impressive 164 running metres to help kick-start a valiant show of effort.

With five-eighth Tanah Boyd forced to leave the field early in the first half with a wrist injury, Hasler is now facing a healthy selection headache about where to play the in-form Brimson heading into next week’s rematch against the Cowboys.

Titans sweat on Boyd scans

Gold Coast will await scan results on Boyd after the 67-gamer succumbed to a dislocated wrist in only the eighth minute of the contest.

Already missing vital spine member Jayden Campbell to a knee injury with the excitement machine still several weeks away, his potential absence will make the selection headache even worse for Titans coach Des Hasler who continues to face a growing casualty ward. 

Boyd leaves the field with injury

In positive news though, the Titans were fortunate to have hooker Sam Verrills on the bench which allowed Chris Randall to move into the halves for the final 72 minutes - a role he has played specifically across 10 games in NSW Cup and filled in on several occasions during 58 appearances in the NRL.

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.