TITANS BEAT WESTS TIGERS 36-24
By Wayne Cousins at Skilled Stadium
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Wests Tigers suffered a 36-24 loss to the Gold Coast Titans at Skilled Stadium tonight in round 25 of the Telstra Premiership.
The loss leaves Wests Tigers in 10th position on 26 points, two points outside the eight.
Wests Tigers forward Danny Galea started the game at prop for tonight’s must win match against the Gold Coast Titans at Skilled Stadium.
Galea replaced the suspended Bryce Gibbs with Dene Halatau coming onto the interchange bench.
Wests Tigers opened the scoring in the 3rd minute when a short ball by hooker and captain Robbie Farah found full-back Tim Moltzen in support. Moltzen ran 30 metres before offloading an inside pass to five-eighth Benji Marshall to score next to the posts for a 4-0 lead.
Marshall converted the try to give Wests Tigers a 6-0 lead.
A great kick to the left corner by Farah saw five-eighth Matt Rogers tackled by winger Rhys Hanbury who rolled Rogers into touch to force a scrum and give Wests Tigers the feed 10 metres out from the Titans line.
Wests Tigers kept plenty of pressure on and a grubber kick by Marshall saw winger Kevin Gordon force the ball dead for a goal-line drop out.
Referee Tony Archer called on video referee Paul Simpkins in the 9th minute to see if Farah had scored from dummy half in a three man tackle. Simpkins ruled try, much to the huge roar of approval by the large army of supporters at the game.
Marshall converted the try for a 12-0 lead.
The Titans had a good chance of scoring in the 12th minute but centre Jordan Atkins knocked the ball on in a 2 on 1 overlap.
A missed tackle by Farah on full-back Preston Campbell saw the full-back made a break before drawing in Moltzen to send Titans captain Scott Prince over for a try against his former club.
Prince converted the try for a 12-6 scoreline after 18 minutes.
Marshall and half-back Robert Lui have both gone for 40/20 kicks early in the tackle count but have not found touch.
An offload in a two man tackle by second-rower Mark Minichiello saw the ball find Prince and then Campbell who raced 20 metres to score near the posts. Prince converted the try for a 12-12 scoreline after 27 minutes.
Farah pulled off a trysaving tackle on Gordon after he raced 60 metres from a loose pass before being taken into touch in the 31st minute after an initial break by Lui went astray.
A grubber kick by Prince saw Moltzen trapped in-goal in the 35th minute to give the Titans a repeat set. A droped ball took the pressure off Wests Tigers.
Simpkins was again called on in the 37th minute to see if centre Chris Lawrence had scored or was held up after a 10 metre charge to the line off a Marshall pass. It was ruled held up, forcing Lawrence to play the ball. On the next play, Wests Tigers got six more tackles after the ball was touched in flight.
A short pass by Lui to Galea saw him loose the ball and injure his leg in a heavy hit in the 38th minute. The next play, the Titans lost the ball to give posession back.
The pressure finally told on the Titans when an offload by Galloway to Farah found second-rower Gareth Ellis who flicked the ball behind his back for Moltzen to hit a gap before drawing in the winger to send Hanbury over for a try in the corner.
Marshall failed to convert from the sideline to leave Wests Tigers with a 16-12 lead at half-time.
A kick downfield and a hard chase by Campbell saw Moltzen trapped in goal forced a goal line drop out.
In the next set, a grubber kick by Prince saw the ball bounce off the pad with Moltzen and Prince both putting a hand on the ball. Simpkins was called on and he ruled a try to Prince, claiming he touched the ball first. Prince converted the try to give the Titans an 18-16 lead after 45 minutes.
Simpkins was again called on to see if forward Luke O’Dwyer had scored or held up over the line by Marshall. The try was awarded to give the Titans a 22-16 lead after 49 minutes.
Prince converted the try for a 24-16 lead.
Simpkins was again called on to see if Farah had forced the ball down in a three man tackle in the 53rd minute. The try was awarded. The try came on the back of an initial break by Galea before the Titans were penalised for being offside in front of their posts.
Marshall suprisingly missed the conversion attempt near the posts for a 24-20 scoreline.
Once again, Simpkins was called on to rule whether Hanbury had scored in the corner or lost the ball in trying to place it down. It came on the back of an acrossfield run by Marshall who found support in Lawrence who passed the ball on to Hanbury.
The try was awarded on a benefit of the doubt to make it 24-24 with 61 minutes remaining. Marshall failed to convert the try.
John Morris and Dene Halatau have entered the field for the first time.
The Titans bombed another good tryscoring opportunity when centre Sam Tagatese beat Lui only to throw a low forward pass that went into touch instead of the arms of Gordon in the 65th minute.
Lawrence made a great break and looked like a chance of scoring, only to be pulled down 10 metres short of the line to lose the ball. Lawrence made up for the mistake when he forced the ball lose from Prince 10 metres short of the Wests Tigers tryline.
A kick out on the full by Farah saw the Titans get a play the ball on the halfway line. The Titans scored in the following set when a grubber kick by Campbell saw Rogers follow it through to score next to the posts for a 28-24 lead with 10 minutes remaining.
Prince converted the try for a 30-24 lead.
A tap restart saw Farah kick the ball downfield but the ball found to find the sideline. Rogers picked the ball up and beat the tackle of centre Dean Collis before running infield to hook up with Tagataese to race away to score for a 34-24 lead. Prince failed to convert the try with five minutes remaining.
Prince kicked a penalty goal in the 78th minute to secure victory for the Titans with a 36-24 lead.
A kick by Farah saw Ayshford score in the corner but the try was denied to leave the score at 36-24.