Jeff Dickinson-Fox reviews the campaign which saw Melbourne Storm crowned premiers in 2017.
4 days ago
The Gold Coast Titans have claimed a comfortable 18-0 win over a depleted Storm outfit in wet conditions on the Gold Coast. The Titans led 12-0 at half time and were always in control.
In a match that will only assist calls to move Origin to a stand alone weekend, or at least sort out having byes before Origin instead of afterwards, both teams effectively traded errors for 80 minutes.
The Titans opened the scoring in the 5th minute with Brett Delaney crossing out wide with a huge overlap on. They extended their lead with a penalty goal on the 12th minute, and the scoring in the first half was completed with
Brad Meyers crossing in a similar fashion to Delaney.
The only scoring in the second half was a superb try to winger Ben Jeffrey, following a kick and chase he shrugged off Melbourne defenders and scored.
For their part, the Storm never threatened and had to defend for much of the game. Overall it was a very average match played in wet conditions and is a prime advertisement for those claiming something must be done about the loss of players to State of Origin camp. Be it putting State of Origin on a stand alone weekend or shifting the mass byes back to before Origin instead of afterwards, tonight showed that something has to be done.
LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary
TITANS: 1. Preston Campbell 2. Ben Jeffery 3. Luke O'Dwyer 4. Brett Delaney 5. Brenton Bowen 6. Mat Rogers 7. Scott Prince 8. Luke Bailey 9. Nathan Friend 10. Michael Hodgson 11. Brad Meyers 12. Mark Minichiello 13. Josh Graham Interchange: 14. Aaron Cannings 15. Michael Henderson 16. Luke Swain 17. Esikeli Tonga STORM: 1. Steve Turner 2. Brett Anderson 3. Joseph Tomane 4. Jeremy Smith 5. Sam Joe 6. Russell Aitken 7. Cooper Cronk 8. Jeff Lima 9. Matt Geyer 10. Scott Anderson 11. Sam Tagataese 12. Antonio Kaufusi 13. Sika Manu Interchange: 14. Liam Foran 15. Kevin Proctor 16. Adam Blair 17. Aiden Tolman 18. Lucas Miller 19. Clifford Manua 20. Sinbad Kali
The Titans won the Toyota Cup match 38-6.
The Storm have Geyer at fullback, Tagataese in the centres, Jeremy Smith at five eight. Aitken moves to hooker. Blair starts at lock. Foran, Proctor, Tolman and Manua make up their bench. The Titans have Atkins on the wing, Brad Davis is halfback. Conn starts at lock and that has Graham, Cannings, Henderson and Swain on the bench.
Both teams taking to the field now. Not a huge crowd in.
1 min: Underway at Skilled Park!
4 min: Titans on attack off the back of a penalty.
5 min: TRY Gold Coast Titans Great play by the Titans, spread the ball from one side to the other and work an overlap and Delaney scores with an extra man unmarked on the outside. Conversion attempt by Mat Rogers unsuccessful. Gold Coast Titans 4-0
9 min: Titans pick up a goal line drop out.
11 min: Titans earn another repeat set.
12 min: PENALTY GOAL Gold Coast Titans Silly penalty from the Storm, Sika Manu goes on with the tackle after the referee called held. Storm ought to consider themselves lucky the Titans took the points on offer. Gold Coast Titans 6-0
15 min: The Storm finally move into Titans territory after picking up a penalty, only to lose the ball.
17 min: Titans on attack after another needless Storm penalty.
18 min: TRY Gold Coast Titans The Titans are in again. Similar to the last try, move the ball left and back to the right, the ball is kept alive to Meyers by Conn and he scores with unmarked players on the outside. Conversion attempt by Mat Rogers successful. Gold Coast Titans 12-0
23 min: Storm on attack after a Titans error.
23 min: The Storm go close, Tomane loses the ball in attempting to catch a bomb with the line open.
25 min: Cronk puts in a kick for Anderson to chase, and Anderson bundles Jeffery into touch to give the Storm a scrum 10 out.
27 min: Great defence by the Titans, holding the Storm out.
33 min: Game evening out now, but still plenty of errors in the wet.
38 min: Titans keeping the pressure up as we close in on halftime.
HALFTIME: The Titans comfortably lead the Storm 12-0 at halftime.
40 min: Back underway at Skilled Park!
45 min: Geyer loses the ball on a kick return putting the Titans on attack.
47 min: Titans on attack off another Storm error.
47 min: Storm get away with it with the Titans giving away a penalty for an obstruction.
50 min: Storm to go on attack off a penalty.
53 min: Titans kick down the line and Geyer is forced to knock the ball over the sideline. Scrum 10 out for the Titans.
54 min: Titans cough up the ball.
60 min: Titans go awfully close to scoring.
64 min: TRY Gold Coast Titans The Titans have finally sealed the match, and with a superb try! Jeffrey makes a break, chips ahead and gets the bounce and shrugs off several defenders to score a brilliant try! Conversion attempt by Mat Rogers successful. Gold Coast Titans 18-0
75 min: This match is painfully slowly headed for the inevitable conclusion.
78 min: Titans go close to scoring. Rogers cops an accidental shot to the ribs from Cronk's shoulder.
FULLTIME: Thankfully this match is over, the Titans running out 18-0 winners.