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A Justin Olam double and an inspirational display from skipper Api Koroisau led Wests Tigers to a drought-breaking 18-10 win over the Titans at Leichhardt Oval on Saturday.

In front of a boisterous home crowd the Tigers savoured their first win since Round 4, digging deep in defence in the second half to stave off Des Hasler's men.

On the back of a 40-20 kick by Jayden Campbell in the fifth minute it was the Titans snaring first points when Jojo Fifita crossed in the right-hand corner for his third try of the season. Campbell's conversion made it 6-0.

The Tigers hit back seven minutes later when returning five-eighth Aidan Sezer sent a long ball to a rampaging Olam who left three defenders in his wake to make it 6-6 with Koroisau's conversion.

Justin Olam Try

Midway through the half the Titans regained the lead when Kieran Foran strolled through a Fonua Pole tackle and set up Campbell to stroll over for a try that made it 10-6 to Gold Coast.

A mistake by the Titans on a right-side shift in the 25th minute gave the Tigers good field position but the home side failed to get a kick in on the last tackle and the opportunity was lost.

Both sides had a late shot at points as the opening stanza drew to a close but were unable to make the final pass stick and the Titans headed to the sheds ahead by four.

Jayden Campbell Try

The second half developed into an arm wrestle as the sides traded field position before a barnstorming run by Samuela Fainu set up Olam for his second try and the Tigers had the lead 12-10 with Koroisau's conversion.

With 16 minutes to play Olam came close to his hat-trick but he was denied by desperate defence from Titans fullback Keano Kini.

The Titans had a golden chance of their own with 12 minutes to play when they kept the ball alive on the last and created space for Fifita wide out but the winger put it down.

A clever grubber by Campbell earned the visitors a repeat set but the Tigers' scramble defence came to the fore as they clung to their two-point lead.

With the Leichhardt Oval faithful in full voice the Tigers made their way down field and Koroisau put in a deft grubber for Pole to follow through and scoop the ball up to score. The skipper added the conversion for an 18-10 lead.

The Titans looked to have posted a late try through Fifita with 60 seconds to play but the try was ruled out due to obstruction in the lead-up.

Match Snapshot

  • Titans five-eighth Jayden Campbell produced a 40-20 kick in the fifth minute.
  • Titans winger Jojo Fifita ran for 215 metres and had four tackle breaks while fullback Keano Kini racked up 318 run metres and nine tackle breaks.
  • The Titans lost their captain's challenge in the 25th minute.
  • Giant youngster Jordan Miller entered the game in the 28th minute for his NRL debut while Heath Mason went on in the 54th minute for his first taste of the NRL.
  • The Titans made nine line breaks to the Tigers' two.
  • The Tigers have won both their games at Leichhardt Oval this year - against the Sharks in Round 2 and Titans in Round 15.

The Wests Tigers pay tribute to Keith Barnes

  • Wests Tigers fullback Jahream Bula wore jersey No.21, with the No.1 jersey 'rested' as a mark of respect to legendary Balmain fullback Keith Barnes. This was the Tigers' first game at Leichhardt since Barnes' passing in April. 
  • Wests Tigers prop Stefano Utoikamanu staked his claim for a Blues Origin recall with 192 metres from 17 runs and made 32 tackles.
  • Wests Tigers lost their captain's challenge in the 70th minute.
  • The last time Wests Tigers beat the Titans at Leichhardt Oval was Round 11, 2008.
  • The Titans completed at just 64 per cent and came up with 14 errors.

Campbell kicks a 40/20

Play of the Game 

Fonua Pole's try to seal the win for the Tigers in the 77th minute came from a brilliant Api Koroisau grubber out of dummy half, capping a superb game from the skipper. Pole ran for 120 metres on the day and was part of a young Tigers pack that refused to take a backward step against more experienced opponents.

Fonua Pole Try

What they Said 

"To come to Leichhardt after nine straight losses and see our fans turn up today like they did on the hill and giving the players a standing ovation in warm-up, that lifts you as a player. To have that support after a tough time, that meant a lot to us. And seeing them celebrating at the end there it was pretty special. When you have youth, it brings energy, and it helps lift some of the older guys and I noticed with Jordie [Miller] and Heath [Mason] during the week they brought a great energy to the team and it helped lift the boys. This was a win built on intent, energy and desire." - Wests Tigers coach Benji Marshall

Wests Tigers: Round 15

"It's just crazy, we make nine line breaks to two, had the game set up, won field position and did all that part of the game and go out in the second half and complete only nine sets... it's crazy. It's really disappointing. The Tigers stayed in the game and we kept them in it and they walked away with the win. You don't make nine line breaks to two and lose." - Titans coach Des Hasler

Titans: Round 15

What's Next

The Tigers are at home at Campbelltown Stadium in Round 16 when the Raiders pay a visit. The sides met in the national capital back in Round 2 with the Green Machine prevailing 32-12.

The Titans host the Warriors next Saturday at Cbus Super Stadium and will look to repeat their effort from Round 8 when they pulled off a 27-24 upset over Andrew Webster's men in Auckland.

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.