Titans carve up Raiders
A determined Gold Coast outfit has run in eight tries to defeat the Raiders 38-26 at Canberra Stadium on Sunday afternoon.by NRL
A determined Gold Coast outfit has run in eight tries to defeat the Raiders 38-26 at Canberra Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
Speaking after the game, Jetstar Titans forward Nate Myles said the win was a step in the right direction, but insists there's plenty of improvement in this group of players.
"The energy we showed today was something we've been missing," Myles said.
"We've got a lot of improving to do if we want to be any chance of making the eight and being an actual contender in the finals. The boys are getting there, and I think we can only improve from here."
A mistake from Aidan Sezer fielding the ball from the kick-off allowed the Raiders to go right on the attack, and it almost led to first points down the left edge, with Edrick Lee and Jarrod Croker combining. But some good cover defence from Mark Minichiello stopped a close try. The Raiders received the ball straight back, and they scored through Blake Ferguson in the next set, just three minutes into the match.
When the Titans finally got their hands on the ball, they hit right back through fullback William Zillman. Both conversion attempts were unsuccessful, leaving the score locked at 4-all after eight minutes.
There was plenty of enterprising attacking play during the opening exchanges, with the Titans almost hitting the front via Ben Ridge after 11 minutes. The video referee denied the second rower, but couldn't do so just a minute later when Kevin Gordon crossed for his sixth try of the season.
A break from Jamal Idris led to more points, with the big centre offloading to Minichiello who found Steve Michaels backing up on his outside. Prince was again unsuccessful, leaving the margin at 12-4. But mistakes and penalties kept the visitors on the front foot, and they scored again through Luke Douglas in the 23rd minute. Prince finally found his radar, kicking the Titans out to a 18-4 lead.
And the Gold Coast continued to heap the punishment on the home side, with Michaels storming to his second in the 30th minute. Canberra weren't about to lie down however, and Josh Papalii let his intentions known with a big hit on Michael Henderson from the resulting kick-off. There were to be no further points scored in the half, with the Titans taking a 22-4 lead into halftime.
The Raiders had it all to do in the second half, and had seemingly scored early through Croker. But video referee Rod Lawrence found he wasn't able to ground the ball.
A contentious forward pass call minutes later halted another attacking raid from Canberra, and a penalty for an incorrect play the ball in a similar position on the field gave the Titans a further opportunity to extend their advantage.
Several repeat sets for the Titans was too much for Canberra to handle, with Beau Falloon scoring on debut in the 53rd minute. Another try to Luke O'Dwyer minutes later put the Gold Coast side in a commanding position headed into the final quarter of the match, leading 32-4.
If the Raiders were to chase down this advantage, they needed to act fast, and a 40/20 to halfback Sam Williams was a positive sign. He was rewarded for his efforts with a try in the 69th minute. Zillman then scored his second for the afternoon seven minutes out from fulltime, but late tries to Croker, Reece Robinson and Joel Thompson closed the margin, with the Titans running out 38-26 victors.
GOLD COAST TITANS 38
(S Michaels, W Zillman 2; K Gordon, L Douglas, B Falloon, L O'Dwyer tries; S Prince 3 goals)
CANBERRA RAIDERS 26
(B Ferguson, S Williams, J Croker, R Robinson, J Thompson tries; J Croker 3 goals)
At Canberra Stadium, Canberra.
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