A low-scoring contest at Cbus Super Stadium tonight has seen the Gold Coast Titans come out 12-8 winners over the Brisbane Broncos in front of over 20,000 fans.
Despite being hit with a raft of injuries in the second half, the home side were able to hold out a dominant Brisbane side for much of the game, eventually coming behind to record a four-point victory.
It didn't start with a lot of excitement, with neither side posting a point in the opening half-hour of the contest. It was at that point, completely against the run of play, that Ben Hunt put Alex Glenn into space before backing his second-rower up to score the first points of the game. Blunt attack from the Titans and a remaining ten minutes littered with errors ensured the Broncos took a 6-0 lead to halftime.
The low-scoring nature of the contest was shown early in the second half, with just four minutes passing before the Broncos decided to add to the score after a penalty near the posts. The visitors' lead extended to eight points, but they would not score again despite holding plenty of possession throughout the second half.
Much like Brisbane's try, the Titans opening four-pointer of the contest, which came at the 60-minute mark, was against the run of play. Brisbane were enjoying plenty of ball and field position before David Mead swooped on a poor grubber from Ben Hunt and Mead went the length of the field despite an admirable chase from Broncos' prop Josh McGuire. The gap was closed to two, then both sides entered a tough grind as the Broncos desperately clung to their lead.
Mark Minichiello came painfully close to a lead-grabbing try in the 65th minute, before the match-winner was scored by Aidan Sezer some ten minutes later. Albert Kelly flung the ball extra-high (which seemed to be a go-to tactic for the Titans all night) and Ben Barba elected to watch it bounce - and despite claiming it after the second bounce, Barba had it plucked from his grasp by Sezer one-on-one who scored to put his side ahead.
The Titans held out right to the end, including a late penalty goal attempt gone wrong, and in spite of injuries to Anthony Don and Ashley Harrison. They continue to lead the competition outright regardless of results this weekend now, and still have a negative points differential. They now have a long lay-off before facing the Panthers at Penrith on Easter Monday. Brisbane are of course featuring again in seven days time, with their clash against Newcastle at Hunter Stadium taking place on Good Friday.