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Storm down gallant Titans in Coffs
The Melbourne Storm have defeated NRL newcomers the Gold Coast Titans 32-6 with a polished performance in Coffs Harbour overnight.
It was the first ever trial match for the Titans, the John Cartwright coached outfit fielding a young side made up mainly from the Queensland Cup ranks.
In contrast, the Melbourne Storm coach Craig Bellamy named a star-studded line up, the minor premiers only hitting top gear in the final 20 minutes to run away with the match.
Melbourne led 12-0 lead after 15 minutes with tries to captain Dallas Johnson and outside back Anthony Quinn. But the Titans struck back just before half time through winger Chris Walker, and at the break it was 12-6.
Despite being guilty of numerous handling errors, the Titans scrambled well in defence before the Storm finally gained the ascendancy, Sam Tagataese breaking the line in the final quarter. Two tries to Will Chambers and a four-pointer to Billy Slater ultimately saw the Storm to a comfortable victory.
Titans stars Mat Rogers, Scott Prince, Luke Bailey and Preston Campbell were all rested for the match but are expected to get a run against the Parramatta Eels for next Saturday's trial at Oakes Oval in Lismore.
The Storm now meet the Sea Eagles for a trial next Saturday at Quad Park, Kawana Waters on Queensland's Sunshine Coast.
TITANS 6 v STORM 32 Scorers Titans: C Walker try. C Walker goal. Scorers Storm: W Chambers 2, D Johnson, A Quinn, S Tagataese, B Slater tries. C Smith 4 goals. BCU International Stadium, Coffs Harbour, NSW 17 Feb 2007, 7.30pm David Myles (c) Titans, Dallas Johnson (c) Storm Referee: Tony Archer HALF TIME: Storm 12-6 FULL TIME: Storm 32-6 Crowd: Approx 12,000