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The Gold Coast Titans have run out 28-14 winners over Manly in a scrappy but entertaining affair at Skilled Park tonight.
It would have been a frustrating match to watch for both fans, with periods of skill and flair from both teams punctuated by many simple errors and some baffling refereeing decisions.
The Titans started the stronger, Kevin Gordon racing away after trapping a Manly kick with his feet deep in his own half. Minichello then backed up a long Greg Bird break to put the Titans ahead 12-0. Manly hit back with a try to Matt Ballin, despite a relatively clear Manly knock on in the lead up.
The first twenty minutes of the second half were punctuated with numerous errors but the match came to life in the final twenty, both teams seeming to realise the match was in the balance. Kevin Gordon bagged a double, using his sharp in and away to get past Manly fullback Farrar, before Luke Bailey fell over the line when a Greg Bird grubber took a wicked bounce and rebounded off the crossbar. A controversial decision to award Manly an eight point try, when there appeared to be little wrong with Minichello's attempt to prevent the try, had many of the crowd angered, but Manly had left their run too late.
Gold Coast Titans 28 defeated Manly Sea Eagles 14
National Rugby League - NRL - Round 14 - Friday June 11, 2010 7:35pm
Venue: Skilled Park
Referee: Gavin Badger and Ben Cummins
Video Referee: Sean Hampstead
Touch Judges: Jeff Younis and Chris James
Halftime: Gold Coast Titans 14 Manly Sea Eagles 6
Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:
3 Points - Nathan Friend
2 Points - Greg Bird
1 Point - Ben Farrar (1 Try)
Gold Coast Titans (28)
Tries: Luke Bailey, Mark Minichiello, Kevin Gordon (2), Sam Tagataese
Conversions: Scott Prince (3/5)
Penalty Goals: Scott Prince (1/1)
Manly Sea Eagles (14)
Tries: Matt Ballin, Ben Farrar
Conversions: Shane Rodney (2/2)
Penalty Goals: Shane Rodney (1/1)
LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary 1 min: Manly kick us off for tonight's game.
9 min: TRY
Gordon pounces on a Manly error and sprints the length of the field to score! Prince adds he extras.
Gold Coast Titans 6-0
13 min: TRY
Mark Minichiello backs up nicely from a Bird break to score. Prince converts.
Gold Coast Titans 12-0
29 min: TRY
After some scrappy leadup play Ballin dives in for a controversial try right under the posts
Gold Coast Titans 12-6
31 min: Gold Coast have a good chance but a wicked bounce after a chip bounces way over Preston Campbell's head.
33 min: Gordon streaks away again for the Gold Coast after fielding a kick but this time some cover comes across and claims him.
35 min: Gold Coast miss a good chance after Laffranchi attempts an offload in heavy traffic just out from the Manly line.
38 min: PENALTY GOAL
Prince slots a penalty goal after a lineball call to penalise Ballin for tackling Prince after he hoisted a huge bomb.
Gold Coast Titans 14-6
39 min: The Gold Coast go close to scoring what would have been one of the tries of the season, a sweeping movement downfield involving two chip kicks.
40 min: Half Time here at Skilled Park. The TItans lead 14-6 in a scrappy affair.
41 min: Titans kick off to get the second half underway.
43 min: This game continues to be a scrappy one, three turnovers already in the first two minutes of the second half.
47 min: Bit of an arm-wrestle here. Both teams just concentrating on getting to their kicks.
48 min: Gold Coast go on the attack after Tagataese bundles Manly's Dean Whare into touch deep in his own half.
50 min: Gold Coast's attacking set comes to nothing after Prince knocks on. He's having a poor game by his standards.
51 min: Mead does very well to get out of his own in goal after a good kick following a good Manly set.
53 min: Intensity starting to lift here, Titans again go close after a clever chip from Prince releases Gordon down the sideline.
58 min: Both teams continuing to play field position when they can hold the ball. Has barely been an attacking set in the second half.
61 min: Gold Coast go on the attack after a lucky deflection from a kick. Manly are starting to look tired.
62 min: TRY
Sam Tagataese rampages onto a short ball, beating two defenders to score from short range. Prince pushes the kick across the face from wide out.
Gold Coast Titans 18-6
65 min: TRY
Titans starting to run away with this one. Beautiful in-and-away from Gordon capitalises on smart lead-up work from Friend and Matt Rogers. Prince again unsuccessful from out wide.
Gold Coast Titans 22-6
69 min: TRY
Possible eight point Try. Manly hit back after regaining a short kick off. A nice ball from Glen Stewart puts Farrar over. A tough call to give an 8 point try after Minichello judged to have slid in with dangerous knees.
Gold Coast Titans 22-12
70 min: PENALTY GOAL
Rodney nails both the conversions for the eight point try.
Gold Coast Titans 22-14
73 min: TRY
Titans have pulled away again with a freakish try, a Greg Bird grubber took an unbelievable bounce; into the crossbar! and then back straight into the hands of Luke Bailey, who just had to fall over under the sticks
Gold Coast Titans 28-14
76 min: Manly trying everything late, Michael Robertson regathers a chip but the cover claims him.
78 min: Both teams have really started throwing the ball around over the last ten-fifteen minutes but the Titans will run out winners
80 min: Full time. Titans win 28-14.