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An 82nd minute field goal from the boot of Scott Prince has seen the Gold Coast Titans snatch a stunning golden point victory over the South Sydney Rabbitohs at ANZ Stadium.
With the scoreline reading 18-16 to the home side, the Rabbitohs looked to have the game in the bag but a last minute penalty goal to the Titans saw Prince level the scores and send the game into extra time. It was the halfback who then delivered the final blow, calmly slotting the one pointer to send his team into jubilant celebrations.
The game was also filled with controversy - Gold Coast hooker Nathan Friend and South Sydney halfback Chris Sandow were both sin binned at different stages of the match due to repeated indiscretions in the ruck.
However, despite the exciting climax, the match was characterised by errors and penalties - both sides lacked polish in attack and discipline in defence.
The opening try of the contest was scored by Beau Champion, who stood up Mat Rogers in defence and showed enough pace to get to the line. However, it didn't take long for the Rogers to respond - the Titans playmaker provided a nice inside ball for fullback William Zillman to slice over in the 14th minute.
Sloppy ball handling and the referees whistle dominated for the remainder of the first half before representative backrower Anthony Laffranchi crashed over to give the Gold Coast a 12-6 lead at the break. The Titans then extended their lead to 16-6 thanks to a 48th minute try from Joseph Tomane off a Prince grubber.
The match looked to be out of Souths' reach until Champion proved the much needed spark. The centre crossed for his double in the 60th minute and Issac Luke added the extras to put his team right back in the contest at 16-12 behind.
Titans dummy half Friend was sent from the field and Souths continued their surge against an undermanned opposition. Then, when Queenslander Dave Tyrell spun out of an attempted tackle to notch a try, the home team had gained the lead 18-16 with fifteen minutes to play.
The sin binning of Sandow on the stroke of fulltime saw his opposing number level the scores and send the game into extra time at 18-all. It was Prince who also landed the killer blow, the LeagueUnlimited Man of the Match remained cool under pressure and slotted the winning golden point from directly in front.
Souths are yet to taste victory in 2010, while the Titans are undefeated although they have been far from their best in both wins.
Match Details South Sydney Rabbitohs 18 were defeated by Gold Coast Titans 19 National Rugby League - NRL - Round 2 - Friday March 19, 2010 8:35pm Venue: ANZ Stadium Referee: Tony De Las Heras and Ashley Klein Video Referee: Steve Clark Touch Judges: Steve Chiddy and Gavin Morris Crowd: 0 Halftime: South Sydney Rabbitohs 6 Gold Coast Titans 12
Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:
3 Points - Scott Prince (2 Conversions, 1 Penalty Goal, 1 Field Goal)
2 Points - Joseph Tomane (1 Try)
1 Point - Issac Luke (3 Conversions)
South Sydney Rabbitohs (18)
Tries: Beau Champion (2), Dave Tyrell
Conversions: Issac Luke (3/3)
Gold Coast Titans (19)
Tries: Anthony Laffranchi, Joseph Tomane, William Zillman
Field Goals: Scott Prince (1/1)
Conversions: Scott Prince (2/3)
Penalty Goals: Scott Prince (1/1)
LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary Welcome to tonight's coverage of the clash between the South Sydney Rabbitohs and the Gold Coast Titans. The Bunnies will be looking to bounce back from a thrashing at the hands of the Roosters, while the Titans are coming off a narrow win over the Warriors last weekend.
The U20s fixture went the way of the Titans 22-16.
One team change for the Titans: William Zillman replaces the injured Preston Campbell at fullback.
1 min: Rabbitohs kick off!
2 min: Souths recieve a penalty for a chicken wing tackle but they fail to find touch with the kick.
4 min: Souths run the ball on the last, Nathan Merritt ends up with the ball and chips out on the full.
6 min: Another kick out on the full, this time Anthony Laffranchi who is ambushed on the fifth tackle.
7 min: Roy Asotasi forces a knock on with a brutal tackle - high fives all round for the Rabbitohs.
8 min: TRY
Souths spread the ball wide, Champion throws a dummy, pins his ears back and has enough pace to get to the line. Luke converts from the sideline.
South Sydney Rabbitohs 6-0
13 min: Scott Prince goes for the 40/20 but Souths fullback Rhys Wesser somehow manages to keep the ball in the field of play.
14 min: TRY
The Titans hit back thanks to Mat Rogers, who throws a brilliant inside pass that allows Zillman to slice over from close range.
17 min: Gold Coast making plenty of metres at the moment - their speed seems to be bothering Souths.
21 min: A Titans attacking raid comes to an end when Prince is ruled to have lost the ball.
25 min: Titans winger David Mead diffuses a bomb and earns his team a 20 metre restart.
26 min: Mat Rogers makes a half break but the pass to support goes to ground.
28 min: Souths receive consecutive penalties, putting them on the attack inside the Titans' half.
31 min: Titans forward Sam Tagataese fumbles in the play the ball.
34 min: Gold Coast hooker Nathan Friend forces a drop out with a nicely weighted grubber.
35 min: TRY
Anthony Laffranchi carries two defenders over the line after a short pass from Scott Prince. Prince converts.
Gold Coast Titans 12-6
40 min: Souths run the footy on the last play of the half but all to no avail as the Titans' defence slides across comfortably.
Halftime: A fairly even forty minutes at ANZ Stadium, the match hasn't really been allowed to flow thanks to a total of ten penalties. It really is anyone's game in the second half.
41 min: The Bunnies bench currently contains Burgess, Taylor and Asotasi - a lot of money sitting on the sidelines..
42 min: Another penalty gives Souths the opportunity to attack but a mistimed pass from Sandow is dropped by rookie Clark.
45 min: Souths show some enterprise but it's a little too much too early in the set as Talanoa is bundled into touch.
47 min: Titans with a error, this time Mat Rogers who can't field the pass. Both teams looking quite sloppy at the moment, with the errors only being punctuated by pedantic penalties from the referee.
48 min: Video referee - possible try to the Titans..
48 min: TRY
Prince fires a grubber into the ingoal and Rabbitohs winger Fetuli Talanoa has the ball stolen from his grasp by a determined Joseph Tomane. Prince misses from the sideline.
Gold Coast Titans 16-6
52 min: Souths centre Beau Champion is placed on report for a lifting tackle on Greg Bird.
54 min: The Rabbitohs are looking pretty flat, while the Titans seem to be growing in confidence - they have all the momentum at the moment.
55 min: The Titans force successive goal line dropouts. Can the Souths defence hold on?
58 min: The home team does hold on and they get a penalty which helps them out of their half.
59 min: TRY
Souths work their way downfield and Beau Champion crosses for his double off a neat short ball from Isaac Luke playing at second receiver. Luke also nails the conversion from out wide. Game on!
Gold Coast Titans 16-12
62 min: Well it's amazing how things can turn, the Rabbitohs have awoken from their slumber and now it's the Titans who are under pressure.
63 min: Nathan Friend is sent from the field due to repeated Titans indiscretions in the ruck. It could be a telling blow.
65 min: TRY
Dave Tyrell spins in an ordinary tackle from Mat Rogers and crashes over the line for just his second try in the top grade. Luke converts easily and the Bunnies now have the lead!
South Sydney Rabbitohs 18-16
69 min: Scott Prince knocks the ball on at dummy half, giving Souths easy possession.
71 min: David Taylor makes a monumental surge for the line but is dragged down inches short.
72 min: Prince puts in a chip kick on the last tackle but Isaac Luke is there in cover, he fields the ball and gets a penalty following a mid air tackle.
73 min: Video referee - possible try to the Rabbitohs..
73 min: No Try - Champion makes a dive to the line in an attempt to grab his hattrick but the ball is miraculously stolen by David Mead.
75 min: Friend returns to the field for the Titans - they get the scrum feed 10 metres out from their own line following a dropped ball from Asotasi.
76 min: Only four minutes left for the Gold Coast. Can they produce a miracle try?
78 min: The Rabbitohs with the goalline drop out, they need to hold on for one more set.
79 min: Chris Sandow is penalised and sent from the field for interfering in the play the ball! Titans elect to have a shot for goal.
80 min: PENALTY GOAL
Scott Prince's kick hits the post but goes over as the siren sounds!!
80 min: What a thrilling finish we have here!
80 min: Souths kick off in Golden Point and will run right to left.
81 min: Titans receive a penalty for a stip and they're on the attack 15 metres out from the line.
82 min: FIELD GOAL
Scott Prince is the man for the Titans! He gets the ball infront of the posts, shows composure befitting of a player of his class and calmly adds the one point. Game over!
Gold Coast Titans 19-18
82 min: Fulltime: Well what a finish we had here at ANZ Stadium! Both teams were sloppy in attack for most of the match but a thrilling final quarter has more than made up for it. Souths looked to have the game in the bag but a penalty goal to the Titans in the final minute put the contest into golden point before the mercurial Scott Prince slotted the match winning field goal.