Queensland’s leading team, the Gold Coast Titans welcomed the Brisbane Broncos to the Cbus Super Stadium knowing they had to win to keep their slim final hopes alive.
Despite a bright start from the Titans, it was Brisbane who crossed with their first opportunity.
Sean O’Sullivan put in a deft kick on the last tackle, which bounce off Jamal Fogarty and into the in-goal area.
Darius Boyd reacted quickest and grounded the loose ball for the opening points.
In the 12th minute, Gold Coast hit straight back as Mitch Rein picked up from dummy-half and over his opposite number Isaac Luke to score.
The Titans took the lead in the 25th minute after a kick from ???? was misjudged by Corey Oates, and Sam Stone dived on the loose ball for the four-pointer.
David Fifita, against his club for 2021, looked to have powered over Ash Taylor for a second try for Brisbane.
However, Corey Thompson knocked the ball out of Fifita’s hands to keep the score at 12-6.
In the final seconds of the half, the Titans came close to grabbing their third try.
Taylor’s kick was missed by Boyd and Kennar, but Corey Thompson couldn’t quite hold on to the ball.
HALF-TIME: Gold Coast Titans 12-6 Brisbane Broncos
Just four minutes into the second half, the Titans did manage to score.
ASh Taylor, on his own try-line, broke through the Broncos defence, found Jai Arrow, and then Anthony Don who broke free.
Don found Thompson who shifted the ball to Young Tonumaipea to race away and score.
As the hour mark ticked by, the Broncos began to work themselves into the contest and after a few minutes with the ball in hand Kotoni Staggs nearly grabbed a dry after plucking a high-ball out of the air.
With 12 minutes to go, Cory Paix picked the ball up from dummy-half and stretched over through the ruck.
It looked as though he’d scored but he lost control of the ball and the Titans still lead by 12.
The Broncos failed to get into the game in the final stages as both teams began making errors as time ticked by.
FULL-TIME: Gold Coast Titans 18-6 Brisbane Broncos
Gold Coast Titans
Brimson, Don, Tonumaipea, Spry, Thompson, Taylor, Fogarty, Wallace, Rein, Fotuaika, Fermor, Stone, Peachey
Interchanges: Clark, Whitbread, Arrow, Lisone
Tries: Rein, Stone, Tonumaipea
Goals: Taylor (3/3)
Boyd, Oates, Staggs, Farnworth, Kennar, O’Sullivan, Dearden, Kennedy, Luke, Haas, Fifita, Glenn, Carrigan
Interchanges: Paix, Te’o, Coates, Ofahengaue
Goals: Staggs (1/1)
Referee: H. Perenara
Touch Judges: L. Kennedy, G. Badger
Video Referee: B. Norrie
Image Source: @NRL (twitter)