Striking Force: Titans Secure Climbing Pass

The Gold Coast Titans in their highest scoring match of the 2011 season, have secured a 28-14 victory over the punch lacking Dragons with 8 players out with representative duty. The Titans picked up some confidence from this win, as they stuck together and pieced a good victory over the Dragons. It is the first time the Dragons have been defeated after leading at halftime this season.

The Titans turned up to play football and it only took 2 minutes to open the account with an early try from Joseph Tomane, who, in a spectacular effort, got his body around the corner post to plant the ball down with only a blade of grass between it and the touch line.

In true form the Dragons were not dejected from the early try, as 8 minutes later, Jason Nightingale chanced his hand with a beautiful cut-out ball to winger Ratu Peni Tagive. Tagive stepped through the line and scored - no attempts at this point had been converted by any side, and they were locked up at 4 points all.

It didn't take long for the Dragons to get rolling with fill-in fullback Jason Nightingale showing his worth by basketballing a pass over to debutante Alex McKinnon, who crossed the line in his first touch of the ball, slicing through the loose defence of the Titans. This try took the score to 8 points to 4, which ended up the halftime score.

The Titans had been unlucky with the referees twice in the opening 40 minutes with rulings on forward passes. Both incidents looked fine, but the men in pink didn't agree - with the calls coming from the touch judges. However the red-and-whites deserved to be in front, as they had made 5 to 1 line breaks as they continued to mount pressure in attack by spreading it wide across the park. It was anyone's game in the second half where the team which held the ball and kept the pressure on would claim the two competition points. And that is exactly what the Titans did, and it continued in the second 40.

For the next two times the line was crossed, we needed a review from the Video Referee. Both the way of the Titans, firstly as their captain Scott Prince controlled the misguided attack of his teammates with a simple grubber into the Dragons goal area. He chased his kick and grounded the ball on it's apex for his 4 pointer. Then 4 minutes later the Titans struck again this time with Mark Minichiello collecting points off what looked to be a possible knock from Toopi, but not the case, try awarded.

Their confidence continued into the 58th minute with Preston Campbell spreading it wide to his halves partner in Prince, who popped it up high in a lovely pass to his winger in David Mead who had a mile of space to dive over the line for the Titans 4th try of the night.

The Dragons, not to be outdone, found some late form in Alex McKinnon as he picked up his double on debut. The try was constructed by Nathan Fien to put McKinnon into a hole for the points. However it was all in vain, as the final say of the night fell with the Titans and young gun hooker Matt Srama, who reached out for the line after Ben Ridge popped the ball out from a tackle at the line. Dragons fans were not happy with the call, however the on-field referees had no issue with the try, awarding it without video review. The game was sealed with a penalty goal coming in the 75th minute as Dragons Michael Weyman was penalised for standing over the player in the ruck. Prince took the opportunity with the penalty goal and that kick awarded them not just the two points in the game, but also two competition points as they now look to begin their climb from the bottom of the table.

The Gold Coast Titans held strong tonight in front of a poorer crowd than the weeks previous at Kogarah, with just over 10,000 at WIN Jubilee Oval. Nevertheless, the Titans head home with the win and a whole lot of confidence after tonight's valiant effort against the reigning Premiers.

Match Details
St George Illawarra Dragons 14 were defeated by Gold Coast Titans 28
National Rugby League - Round 14 - Friday June 10, 2011 7:30pm
Venue: WIN Jubilee Oval
Referee: Tony Archer and Alan Shortall
Video Referee: Steve Clark
Touch Judges: Steve Carrall and Luke Potter
Crowd: 10,139
Halftime: St George Illawarra Dragons 8 Gold Coast Titans 4

Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:
3 Points - Scott Prince (1 Try, 3 Conversions, 1 Penalty Goal)
2 Points - Matt Srama (1 Try)
1 Point - Jason Nightingale

ST GEORGE ILLAWARRA DRAGONS (14)
Tries: Ratu Tagive, Alex McKinnon (2)
Conversions: Ben Hornby (1/3)

GOLD COAST TITANS (28)
Tries: Scott Prince, Mark Minichiello, Joseph Tomane, David Mead, Matt Srama
Conversions: Scott Prince (3/5)
Penalty Goals: Scott Prince (1/1)

LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary In Toyota Cup St George Illawarra 36 defeated Gold Coast Titans 28.

Team News before Kick off. Titans are as per program 1 through 17. However a small change on the bench for the Dragons, 16. Daniel Penese comes off the bench and Mitch Rein will come onto the bench in jersey 24. We are minutes from kick!
A delay kick off with this match between the Dragons and the Titans as this is the only Friday Night Clash for Round 14. Kick off is moments away.
Gus Gould making his way off the hill, entertaining sight there. HOWEVER It's time for kick off! The more senior of the men in pink, Tony Archer says lets go from WIN Jubilee Oval. Dragons and Titans, should be a good one with a baby Dragons side in this representative period.
1 min: Titans making good use of the ball early with their first set. As Preston Campbell getting to the kick finding no mans land, and the titans getting up to a good chase.
1 min: Getting stuck in their own half the dragons in their first set. No errors yet with the Titans getting the ball from their 40 metre line.
2 min: Video Referee Decision for the Titans, the hill at WIN falls silent.
2 min: TRY
TRY! The Titans in their second set with the ball. Scott Prince from the 30 metre line, kicking on the last tackle sending it high in the air. Reece Simmonds missing the bouncing ball, with Joseph Tomane picking up the mess, running strong into the corner and bending his body around the corner post to ground the ball inside the goal area. A blade of grass between the ball and the sideline.
Gold Coast Titans 4-0
6 min: It has been end to end football with both sides getting to their kicks. No errors from both sides that have been picked up from the Referees. Titans stronger then past weeks against this baby dragons side.
6 min: Jason Nightingale at the back, had to run into the ingoal area to collect the ball. Titans up on him in good chasing defence.
7 min: Another great tackle from Matt Srama. The WIN home Crowd screaming a penalty to Dragons for inside the 10m. However not given, Ben Hornby's kick finds Steve Michaels on full about 30metres from their line.
8 min: 20 metre tap for the Dragons. The ball from the titans finding the line.
8 min: First penalty for the Dragons, with Mark Minichiello being pinged for laying in the ruck too long for the referees liking. The Dragons finding touch 30 metres from the Titans line.
9 min: Good attacking set at the Titans line from the Dragons. With Dean Young coming the closest to the line. However on the last the kick finding the hand of the Titan, zero tackle ruled for the Dragons only 10 metres out.
10 min: TRY
TRY! A typical dragons cut out passing game on show. From left to right to create a play, lovely ball from Jason Nightingale to find the awaiting arms of Ratu Peni Tagive, who showed his strength to step into the in goal area to score. Hornby missing the goal, with the ball going across the face.
4 all
12 min: Find the kick off and Reece Simmonds getting back into the action going for a good run, but wrapped up by Bailey.
14 min: Video Referee Decision coming for a Dragons try to Alex McKinnon who is on debut.
14 min: TRY
GREEN LIGHTS! TRY! - Jason Nightingale setting up another pass for a dragons try. It started from Adam Cuthbertson putting Nightingale into a hole, and on the last tackle the Dragons with their star tonight Nightingale getting a basketballing pass to his outside centre Alex McKinnon who debut in his first touch scores by stepping around lose Titans defence. No try has been converted yet, Hornby missing.
St George Illawarra Dragons 8-4
15 min: Good set from the Dragons following up their try. Getting to their kick from halfway and it was collected by William Zillman on his own 10 metre line.
16 min: A monster of a kick from the Titans, the ball coming down for no one as it bounced back into the hands of the Titans with Minichiello who got an outside pass to Michaels. He went looking for a hole however Tagive strong run wrapped him up forcing him into touch.
18 min: The Titans back in Dragons 20 metre line. and they keep attacking down the left hand side.
19 min: From a beautiful kick from Campbell, and Hornby contesting the high ball, but it fell short for Simmonds who knocked on inside his 10 metre line. Scrum feed to the Titans for their chance to level the game.
20 min: Another chance for the Titans. Line drop out for the Dragons. on the 4th tackle the defence pressure forcing Scott Prince to kick into the in goal area.
21 min: Luke O'Dwyer trying to pop the pass when he didn't need too. Dragons coming up with the ball.
21 min: Penalty to the Dragons for Matt Srama being offside, inside the 10 metre. Scott Prince telling the referee not to listen to the crowd. As Dragons get the ball on the Titans 30 metre line.
23 min: On the back of the penalty, Dragons looking dangerous at the line. But William Zillman saving the day for the Titans some how catching the ball in the in goal area. Who he got it away for Joseph Tomane who put the foot down to run 30 metres to be wrapped up.
23 min: On the back of the penalty, Dragons looking dangerous at the line. But William Zillman saving the day for the Titans some how catching the ball in the in goal area. Who he got it away for Joseph Tomane who put the foot down to run 30 metres to be wrapped up.
24 min: Another goal line drop out. With the Titans keep attacking the left hand side of the field. forcing them back into the goals.
24 min: Interchange: Michael Weymen coming from the field, Jon Green onto the field
25 min: A call from the touch judge on what looked like beautifully constructed try for the Titans. Campbell getting the ball to the inside Zillman. However it was ruled to had gone forward. Looked fine from the hands. but scrum 10 metres out for the Dragons.
27 min: Interchange: Bodene Thompson coming onto the field for 13. Luke O'Dwyer.
28 min: Alex McKinnon putting the foot down to find a hole. Great run from the 31 year old.
29 min: On the last tackle. Video Referee Decision again for the Dragons. David Gower diving low at the line, he grounded it short at first line. But as he was sliding into the goals, the ball came free in the field of ball. Scrum feed to the titans 10 metres from the line.
30 min: Not the best set from the Titans, getting stuck in their own half. Scott Prince getting to the kick down to Nightingale who went for a quick run from his 20 but was wrapped up easily in defence.
31 min: Dragons getting to the kick which found the Titans.
31 min: Penalty to the Titans for the Dragons laying in the ruck too long. They have the ball on the Dragons 40 metre line.
32 min: Mark Minichiello going into a hole with the referee ruling a forward pass from Scott Prince. Looked like a good ball.
33 min: Ah, Jason Nightingale in the action again with the Dragons spreading it wide with pressure coming from the Titans. But it all ended quickly for the Dragons looking for a way through.
33 min: On the last tackle the Dragons going to the kick, missing their chance. Titans stealing the ball in their to attack on their 10 metre line.
35 min: Stats: Dragons 15/17 whilst the Titans are 13/17. Dragons are on top with 5 minutes to until the half time siren.
35 min: Recee Simmonds being forced into touch. Scrum feed to the Titans.
37 min: On the last tackle, Campbell being stuck with the ball, the Titans getting confused at the line. Trying to find a hole, but the defence pushing the kick. 20 metre line for the Dragons
38 min: Preston Campbell getting to the kick on the last. It has been end to end stuff again in the final 5 minutes. However the Titans unlucky to the score.
39 min: Titans trying to force the player into touch, not so however the ball was popped out for the Titans just before halftime.
40 min: HALFTIME: Dragons are controlling his clash from WIN Jubilee Oval. The score gives hope to the Titans with only two tries scored against them. After 40 mintes it is 8 points 4. Half time wrap coming shortly.
The Dragons have been hit hard with players being out with representative duties. However Jason Nightingale has been the best player on the park in the first half controlling them from the number jersey. The Dragons have been on top in the attacking department with returning Reece Simmonds getting back into his patterns looking to place his mark on this match.

The Titans have been unlucky tonight, with the referees, twice in this opening 40 minutes, ruling forward passes. Both incidences looked fine. But the men in pink didn't agree with the call coming from the touch judge. However the red and whites deserve to be in front, as they have made 5 to 1 line breaks as they continued to mount pressure in attack by spreading it wide across the park. It is anyone's game in the second half with the team to hold the ball and keep the pressure on, the option to kick a penalty goal won't win this game. The Titans shouldn't be written off even though on the scoreboard they are behind by 4 points.
40 min: The questionable men in pink say time on for the second half. Dragons get the first use of the ball 20 metres from the line.
41 min: From the kick return, the titans with Steve Michael attempting to go for the quick play of the ball. No control in the ruck, Scrum feed to the Dragons 10 mts from the Titans line.
42 min: Dragons trying to move quickly, but going into touch. The Touch judge not looking where he was going, stepping back onto an advertising sign and falling off to the delight of the home crowd.
45 min: Video Referee Decision for Scott Prince, titans may of levelled this here with a lovely grubber from Prince.
45 min: TRY
GREEN LIGHTS TRY! - Titans getting confused at the line again. Scott Prince controlling them with a lovely grubber kick into the in goal area. He chased his own ball through and grounding it on the apex to beat two Dragons defenders. No question about the put down. The successful conversion of the night from Prince, for the Titans to lead again since they scored early in the first half.
Gold Coast Titans 10-8
48 min: Nightingale can't be tricked yet. Taking the ball from the kick.
48 min: VIDEO REFEREE DECISION FOR THE TITANS. Mark Minichiello may of scored, just looking at the possible strip.
49 min: TRY
GREEN LIGHTS! TRY! - Titans turning defence into attack, Clinton Toopi forcing the error. Dragons coughing up the ball to the Titans Minichiello. In open space running from the error to score. No mistake from the kick this time. Question marks over the contest from Toopi, possible knock on in all that. However it was awarded.
Gold Coast Titans 16-8
51 min: Penalty against the Dragons, Jon Green the offender with Ryan James holding him down. however the ruling is with the Titans.
52 min: From the penalty not making the most of it. Error from Thompson knocking on, with the Titans trying to run without the ball. Scrum feed to the Dragons 10 metres from their line.
53 min: A better defensive effort from the Titans in that set. The Dragons opting to settle this game down with a controlled kick finding short touch.
55 min: Luke Baliey had a chance in that set. The Titans are playing with a lot of confidence now as they lead by 8 points. Bailey placing pressure on the Dragons, forcing the Dragons to play at it, with a goal line drop out for the Dragons. They will be wrapped out 40 metres from the line.
57 min: TRY
TRY! Their confidence is showing for the Titans. Preston Campbell spreading it wide to his halves pairing in Prince. he popped it up high in a lovely pass to his winger in David Mead who had a mile of space to dive over the line for the Titans 4th try tonight. No goal from pince on this occasion.
Gold Coast Titans 20-8
59 min: Interchange: Jake Marketo coming onto for the Dragons in place of Mitch Rein.
60 min: Titans completing again set. Controlled kick from Prince who found Jason Nightingale on his 10mt line.
60 min: Mark Minichiello giving away a penalty to the Dragons much to the delight of the home crowd for laying in the ruck. The Dragons will attack inside the Titans 30 metre line.
62 min: TRY
TRY! Wondering line running from the debutante , Alex McKinnon scoring his second try with the Titans falling in defence to allow him to simple cross the line off a nice inside ball from Nathan Fein.
Gold Coast Titans 20-14
63 min: Trying to get the ball off to Prior and the Dragons on the last tackle, Zero tackle to the titans.
64 min: Interesting call from the Referees again. It looked like a knock on from Jon Green but no so. Dragons with the ball on their on 10 metre line.
65 min: Adam Cuthbertson down in back play, but seems to be okay. Scrum feed to the titans on the back of a Forward pass from the Dragons. 40 metres from the line.
65 min: Adam Cuthbertson down in back play, but seems to be okay. Scrum feed to the titans on the back of a Forward pass from the Dragons. 40 metres from the line.
67 min: TRY
TRY! Matt Srama reaching out for the line after Ben Ridge popped the ball out from the tackle. It looked like he was held, but no call from the referee he had the right to pass it. However, In a farah style dive, Srama collecting. Prince with the kick converting.
Gold Coast Titans 26-14
70 min: Dragons looking confused in this set, not much direction with Weymen popping a ball up for his teammates trying to create something.
70 min: Well, strong running from Steve Michaels as William Zillman trying to catch the ball but it bounced next to the post pads away from him. and running behind him was Michaels to get it out for the Titans.
72 min: Off a very suspect forward pass from the Dragons as Reece Simmonds, but at the completion of the 4th tackle it was turned over the TItans. Injury news. David Mead is off with a possible leg injury
73 min: Penalty for the Titans for intereference in the ruck. Michael Weyman marched 10 back to the goal line for back chat
74 min: PENALTY GOAL
From the penalty for Weymen standing over the ruck, has the Titans looked for a quick tap.
Gold Coast Titans 28-14
76 min: Change over for the Titans. They will attack 30 mts from their line.
77 min: Good kick from Scott Prince on the last, 15 metres from their line. Tagive saving the day, stopping the high ball.
78 min: Jason Nightingale going for a gallop off a lovely inside ball, he ran 30 metres before being wrapped up. However it was all in vain, change over for the Titans.
79 min: Dragons losing the ball, but off the Titans it's play on from halfway.
79 min: Dragons losing the ball, but off the Titans it's play on from halfway.
80 min: FULLTIME: As the siren sounds, Ben Hornby has a possible ankle injury. The Titans have secured another win of the 2011 season. The 28 points they scored this year their highest points of the season. A good performance from all involved. Dragons lacking their punch with 8 players out with rep duties. Match report coming shortly.

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