Roosters end Cartwright's Titans tenure with a loss

A spirited Gold Coast Titans fell agonisingly short of delivering a farewell gift to departing coach John Cartwright in losing 26-18 to the Sydney Roosters tonight at Allianz Stadium in front of a measly 6,345 fans.

It was a cold wet night and errors were plentiful from the start, the Roosters losing the ball in their first set. The Gold Coast took advantage of this with Anthony Don scoring early. The Roosters hit back fairly quickly but still trailed 6-4 after a try to skipper Anthony Minichiello went unconverted. Michael Jennings spilled the ensuing restart but the Titans didn't capitalise.

The 20th minute saw the next points, with the Roosters pushing ahead 10-6 through a try to James Maloney by the posts. Dave Taylor then jinked and stepped to score a try himself in the 27th to put the Titans back in the lead... before it all changed hands back to the Roosters again through Nene Macdonald.

It looked like the Roosters would carry the lead into halftime until Greg Bird supported Kevin Gordon off a high-ball on the siren and scored - Aidan Sezer's conversion putting the Titans back in front 18-16 at the change of ends.

Video Referee breaks and drop balls punctuated the early parts of the second half, although to be fair the heavens opened at halftime creating a slippery environment. The Roosters broke the duck in the 48th minute to head back into the lead. They held onto a slender two point lead til the 70th minute when a try to Jennings out wide allowed them to extend to six points clear. A late penalty goal sealed the result despite a number of scares.

Next week the Roosters hop on the light rail for a trip to Lilyfield when they face the Wests Tigers at Leichhardt Oval, while the Titans head home for their first game of the post-Cartwright era... it doesn't get any easier either. They host Manly next Sunday at Cbus Super Stadium.


Match Details
Sydney Roosters 26 Gold Coast Titans 18
Venue: Allianz Stadium
Crowd: 6345
Halftime Score: Sydney Roosters 16 Gold Coast Titans 18

LeagueUnlimited.com Players of the Match:
3 points - James Maloney
2 points - Boyd Cordner
1 point - Dave Taylor

SYDNEY ROOSTERS (26)
Tries: Anthony Minichiello, James Maloney, Nene Macdonald, Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, Michael Jennings
Field Goals: Mitchell Pearce (0/1)
Conversions: James Maloney (2/5)
Penalty Goals: James Maloney (1/1)

GOLD COAST TITANS (18)
Tries: Anthony Don, Dave Taylor, Greg Bird
Conversions: Aidan Sezer (3/3)


LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary

TEAM NEWS | Roosters have omitted Remi Casty from the extended bench through injury. Kurt Kara also drops out. Prop Sam Moa drops to the bench with Dylan Napa starting in his place.

TEAM NEWS | John Cartwright's final match in charge of the Titans club sees a few positive changes. Aidan Sezer returns in jumper #20 at five-eighth. The ensuring reshuffle sees Brad Taikarangi move to the centres, Dave Taylor dropping back to the bench, and Cody Nelson & Maurice Blair dropping out. Kalifa Faifai Loa is also out, replaced in jumper #21 on the wing by Anthony Don.

We are underway at Allianz. Poor crowd in attendance.

1: UNFORCED ERROR SYDNEY ROOSTERS
Boyd Cordner makes an unforced error.

Case of the dropsies early for Boyd Cordner. Titans scrum 30m out.

2: VIDEO REFEREE possible Titans try to Anthony Don. James Maloney's thrown it to nobody - Don's picked it up!

2: TRY GOLD COAST TITANS
Scored by Anthony Don. Kick to come.

Don's try is awarded after the Maloney error. Kick to come from just beside the posts.

3: SUCCESSFUL CONVERSION GOLD COAST TITANS
Conversion attempt by Aidan Sezer successful.

No trouble for returning five-eighth Sezer.

5: Penalty Roosters, they'll attack inside the Titans 30m.

6: TRY SYDNEY ROOSTERS
Scored by Anthony Minichiello. Kick to come.

Minichiello crosses in the corner! Good hands from the outside runners and Mini claims it.

8: UNSUCCESSFUL CONVERSION SYDNEY ROOSTERS
Conversion attempt by James Maloney unsuccessful.

The stiff breeze sees Maloney's kick go wide.

9: UNFORCED ERROR SYDNEY ROOSTERS
Michael Jennings makes an unforced error.

Jennings can't handle the kickoff, Mark Minichiello collects it for the Titans and the visitors attack again! Now there's a penalty against JWH for getting too involved.

14: UNFORCED ERROR SYDNEY ROOSTERS
Anthony Minichiello makes an unforced error.

Minichiello spills the ball just before the line. 20m restart Titans.

16: UNFORCED ERROR GOLD COAST TITANS
Mark Minichiello makes an unforced error.

It's the Minichiello error show. Mini's brother can't hold the ball 10m from his own line. Time for a Roosters' set play here...

18: Line dropout forced by the Roosters after the Titans had held Boyd Cordner up over the line on the previous play.

19: UNFORCED ERROR GOLD COAST TITANS
Daniel Mortimer makes an unforced error.

Sezer's dropout is scuffed, it deflects off an unaware FPN, Titans come up with it. Then a play later... Morts drops it.

20: TRY SYDNEY ROOSTERS
Scored by James Maloney. Kick to come.

Maloney makes easy meat of the Titans' central defenders and scores adjacent to the posts.

22: SUCCESSFUL CONVERSION SYDNEY ROOSTERS
Conversion attempt by James Maloney successful.

Jimmy converts his own try.

27: Both sides finding metres with their kicks but then conceding big metres in defence when the opposition return it. Anything could happen here!

28: TRY GOLD COAST TITANS
Scored by Dave Taylor. Kick to come.

...and anything does! Dave Taylor comes on, and scores with his first touch. Brilliantly set up from a Paul Carter break.

30: SUCCESSFUL CONVERSION GOLD COAST TITANS
Conversion attempt by Aidan Sezer successful.

Sezer converts the Taylor try.

32: Titans drop-out again. Momentum swinging back and forward violently in this contest.

32: Upstairs to the VIDEO REFEREE... the Roosters have crossed via Nene Macdonald. Checking sideline and grounding. Looks good...

33: TRY SYDNEY ROOSTERS
Scored by Nene Macdonald. Kick to come.

Four points for Nene! The grounding and sideline are ruled ok.

34: SUCCESSFUL CONVERSION SYDNEY ROOSTERS
Conversion attempt by James Maloney successful.

Maloney with an outstanding sideline conversion!

37: VIDEO REFEREE ... why it's gone up there we're not sure. Pearce has knocked it on and Minichiello's collected it and crossed the line for the Roosters. Very clear yet still went upstairs. Time wasting!

38: Titans penalised for Cordner holding onto Mortimer. That's bizarre. Clear attempt to milk and the ref's fallen for it. Roosters have it in the Titans' 20m.

39: Upstairs AGAIN to check... Cordner has crossed, on-field decision is NO TRY. Mortimer's done really well there it'll stay NO TRY.

39: NO TRY. Titans drop-out as Mortimer raked it in Cordner's attempt to score.

39: UNFORCED ERROR SYDNEY ROOSTERS
Sam Moa makes an unforced error.

Moa spills an ordinary Mitchell Aubusson pass.

40: Penalty against the Roosters for a high tackle on Greg Bird. The visitors will have one more stab at points this half.

40: VIDEO REFEREE! High kick from Mortimer, comes down, Gordon gets it, offloads to Bird and he's scored! Looks good...

40: TRY GOLD COAST TITANS
Scored by Greg Bird. Kick to come.

It's green! Titans equalise!

40: SUCCESSFUL CONVERSION GOLD COAST TITANS
Conversion attempt by Aidan Sezer successful.

And the Titans draw into the lead in the shadows of the break with Sezer converting from a wide position!

40: We're back underway at Allianz - Titan's ball. There's just 6,345 here tonight - the lowest crowd of the 2014 NRL season so far.

41: UNFORCED ERROR GOLD COAST TITANS
Dave Taylor makes an unforced error.

Taylor's lost the ball in the tackle, Roosters ball early. It's teeming down and has been all halftime break - slippery conditions now.

44: Chargedown by the Roosters is somehow ruled not played at, so the Titans reclaim it take the tackle and are forced to hand it over inside their own half. Roosters with another chance.

45: UNFORCED ERROR SYDNEY ROOSTERS
Shaun Kenny-Dowall makes an unforced error.

SKD pushes a pass forward to Minichiello who dotted down in the corner... ref calls it back. Titans scrum.

47: UNFORCED ERROR GOLD COAST TITANS
Dave Taylor makes an unforced error.

Big DT spills it again after a great hit by Boyd Cordner. Roosters 10m out again. Rain absolutely pelting down now.

48: UNFORCED ERROR GOLD COAST TITANS
Anthony Don makes an unforced error.

Don goes up to take a bomb and inexplicably bats it forward... was he trying to push it backwards? Either way... another Roosters' scrum.

49: VIDEO REFEREE again now for a possible Roosters TRY to Roger Tuivasa-Sheck. Checking onside kickers, contest, and grounding in the corner.

49: TRY SYDNEY ROOSTERS
Scored by Roger Tuivasa-Sheck. Kick to come.

The try is awarded. The contest was questionable but the on-field decision was green lights so it stays that way with no evidence to overturn. RTS scores in the corner.

50: UNSUCCESSFUL CONVERSION SYDNEY ROOSTERS
Conversion attempt by James Maloney unsuccessful.

Maloney misses the conversion attempt from out wide.

52: More drop-outs. Titans again trapped in goal.

53: UNFORCED ERROR SYDNEY ROOSTERS
Sam Moa makes an unforced error.

Moa's having a nightmare with this slippery ball. Titans finally get the ball, scrum on their own 30m.

60: No change to the score over the last eight minutes, Titans threatening here after forcing a line dropout.

68: Roosters force a line dropout. Still just two points in it.

69: TRY SYDNEY ROOSTERS
Scored by Michael Jennings. Kick to come.

Quick hands out wide, they exploit the overlap and Jenko is in. Conversion to come from the sideline.

71: UNSUCCESSFUL CONVERSION SYDNEY ROOSTERS
Conversion attempt by James Maloney unsuccessful.

Maloney's errant kicking looks like it might keep the Titans in the contest. Six the difference with Jimmy missing this one as well.

72: Upstairs again - checking a possible TRY to the Roosters for Kenny-Dowall. Minichiello and Zillman contest is under question.

72: NO TRY - Minichiello's knocked it forward into Zillman in the aerial contest. Titans handover as it was the last tackle.

74: UNSUCCESSFUL FIELD GOAL SYDNEY ROOSTERS
Field goal attempt by Mitchell Pearce unsuccessful.

Pearce attempts a one-pointer to make the result more certain... and pushes it wide.

76: UNFORCED ERROR SYDNEY ROOSTERS
Anthony Minichiello makes an unforced error.

Minichiello loses it in a tackle coming off his own line. Titans scrum 30m out.

76: We're upstairs after an alleged headbutt in a scrum. Bird and Nuuausala both potentially in trouble.

76: Nope... back to the scrum. No action taken. Titans ball.

80: SUCCESSFUL PENALTY GOAL SYDNEY ROOSTERS
Penalty goal attempt by James Maloney successful.

Titans concede a penalty close to the Roosters line. That will end Cartwright's career at the Gold Coast with a loss.

80: That's all she wrote at Allianz. A cold wet empty Allianz - the Roosters have won this one after surviving a gallant Titans showing.

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