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The Gold Coast Titans have kept their hopes of a finals berth alive with a comprehensive 38-26 victory over the Canberra Raiders in front of 8, 240 fans Canberra Stadium.
Five unanswered tries by the Titans after conceding early points saw the visitors race to a 22-4 lead at half-time.
While the Raiders looked outclassed for much of the match, they could not have got off to a better start after Aidan Sezer put foot over the dead-ball-line after catching the ball from the kick off.
The home side did not waste their early opportunity, forcing a repeat set before Blake Ferguson scored in the corner. Jarrod Croker failed to add the extras leaving the Raiders lead to four after four minutes of play.
A mistake by Shaun Fensom in the first set after the try gifted the Titans an opportunity to hit right back and it was former Raider William Zilman who stepped up to the plate busting through the Raiders' defence to score a four-pointer. Scott Prince failed to convert.
With their early advantage squandered, the Raiders found themselves right on the back foot as the Titans began to dominate the metres battle and force mistakes from the home side.
A dropped ball by Sam Williams in the 11th minute gifted the Titans an opportunity for back to back tries and once again the Titans' attack proved to potent for the Raiders' defence with Kevin Gordon scoring courtesy of a nice cut out pass from Sezer.
The Titans ran in another three quick tries, with Steve Michaels claiming a double and Luke Douglas scoring a rare try.
It was the Titans with the early opportunity in the second half after Prince's kick off hit the up right before bouncing into the arms of a teammate, however, the Raiders held on.
The Titans were given several opportunities to extend their lead before Beau Falloon caught the Raiders' defence napping in the 54th minute. The Titans scored again four minutes later through Luke O'Dwyer who muscled his way over the try line.
The Raiders finally hit back in the 69th minute through Sam Williams in the 69th minute on the back of a penalty before a mistake by Ferguson gave the Titans an opportunity to hit right back.
Zilman did not all himself again, breaking through the Canberra defence to score.
The home side rewarded their fans who endured the match with three late tries in the final three minutes of the match to make the score line look more respectable.
It is not all good news for the Titans, with Sezer forced to come off the field with a suspected dislocated shoulder, with Greg Bird and Ashley Harrison already sidelined with injuries, the loss of Sezer is a big blow.
The Titans will host the Broncos next weekend and hope to keep their finals hopes a live. As for the Raiders, they head to Cronulla next weekend to take on the Sharks.
Canberra Raiders 26 were defeated by Gold Coast Titans 38
National Rugby League - Round 19 - Sunday July 15, 2012 2:00pm
Venue: Canberra Stadium
Referee: Steve Lyons and Gavin Reynolds
Video Referee: Rod Lawrence
Touch Judges: Dan Eastwood and Dave Ryan
Halftime: Canberra Raiders 4 Gold Coast Titans 22
Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:
3 Points - William Zillman (2 Tries)
2 Points - Luke Bailey
1 Point - Matt Srama
CANBERRA RAIDERS (26)
Tries: Reece Robinson, Joel Thompson, Jarrod Croker, Blake Ferguson, Sam Williams
Conversions: Jarrod Croker (3/5)
GOLD COAST TITANS (38)
Tries: Steve Michaels (2), Luke Douglas, Luke O'Dwyer, Beau Falloon, William Zillman (2), Kevin Gordon
Conversions: Scott Prince (3/8)
LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary Big game for both sides today as each try to keep pace with the top eight - for the loser the season will be fast fading away.
CHANGES - the Titans with just one swap, Dominique Peyroux to the bench with Luke O'Dwyer starting at centre. For Canberra Dane Tilse is OUT, with Tom Learoyd-Lahrs to start at prop in #17. Sam Mataora retains a bench spot as a result.
Both sides are out on the field. We should have kick off shortly.
1 min: Reece Robinson kicks off to get us underway and Aidan Sezer catches the ball but puts his foot over the dead ball line after catching it. The Raiders will get an early opportunity.
2 min: The Raiders force another line drop out after Jamal Idris gets a hand to the ball and knocks it dead.
4 min: TRY
TRY! The Raiders spread it out wide and Blake Ferguson scores in the right corner. Jarrod Croke fails to add the extras from the sideline.
Canberra Raiders 4-0
6 min: The Titans well get an opportunity to his back after Shaun Fensom loses the ball 30 out from his own line.
8 min: TRY
TRY! Former Raider William Zillman busts straight through the Canberra defence to score in the right corner. Scott Prince's conversion attempt from the right touch line is unsuccessful.
11 min: The Titans are right on the attack after an error by Sam Williams
12 min: Possible try to Ben Ridge for the Titans here!
12 min: No try! Ridge is ruled to have been held up, the Titans still have two tries up their sleeve though.
13 min: Possible try to Kevin Gordon, video referee Rod Lawrence is a busy man this afternoon.
13 min: TRY
TRY! Sezer throws a wide cutout pass, Gordon picks it up on the bounce and scores. Princes misses another sideline conversion.
Gold Coast Titans 8-4
15 min: Titans are making great metres here. They are in the Raiders' half on tackle two.
16 min: Aidan Sezer puts up a little chip kick from 20 out but it's knocked on.
20 min: TRY
TRY! Steve Michaels caps off a wonderful team try. Jamal Idris initiated the play with a clever offload to Mark Minichiello on halfway, Miniciello offloads to Michaels 20 out from the try line. Prince fails to add the extras.
Gold Coast Titans 12-4
20 min: The Titans get a penalty on halfway after Robinson's kick off goes out on the full.
21 min: The Titans receive another penalty and will go right on the attack.
22 min: Another penalty to the Titans, this time right on the goal line.
23 min: TRY
TRY! Luke Douglas muscles his way over the try line to score close to the posts. Prince adds the extras.
Gold Coast Titans 18-4
25 min: Nate Myles throws an atrocious pass and Luke Bailey knocks it on a few metres into the Raiders' half and the Raiders will get scrum 10 short of halfway.
26 min: The Raiders receive their first penalty of the match.
27 min: Williams goes to the air and Michaels is there to clean it up for the Titans.
31 min: TRY
TRY! Prince puts Idris into space on halfway, Idris draws in a defender before offloading to Michaels 40 out, Michaels races away to score his second. Prince fails to add the extras
Gold Coast Titans 22-4
33 min: The Titans will get a scrum 35 out from the Raiders' goal line after an error from Blake Ferguson.
34 min: A Prince grubber goes dead in goal and the Raiders are off the hook.
35 min: The Raiders receive a penalty and will go on the attack.
36 min: Zilman makes a 50 metre kick return and the Titans are on half way on tackle one.
37 min: Prince is pinned for a forward pass 10 out from the Raiders line.
39 min: The Titans force a line drop out.
40 min: The Raiders are off the hook after Minichiello is forced to take the kick and it goes out.
40 min: The Raiders are trapped in their own ten as the half time hooter sounds and that's the half. The Titans lead 22-6 going into the break after conceding an early try.
41 min: Princes gets us underway and the ball bounces off the up right and into the hands of a Titans' player. They will go right on the attack.
42 min: Minichiello loses the ball over the try line and the Raiders are off the hook.
44 min: The Raiders receive a penalty 10 short of halfway and should go on the attack.
45 min: Shaun Berrigan is tackled on the tryline on the last and the Titans are off the hook.
46 min: Zilman goes straight through and run the ball up to his own 40 before being tackled. He gets up and plays the ball but none of his team mates are there and the Raiders regain possession.
47 min: Croker might have a try for the Raiders here.
46 min: No try! Croker knocked the ball on.
48 min: Sam Williams is pinned for a forward pass just short of halfway. The Titans will go on the attack.
49 min: Sezer goes to the air on the last and Edrick Lee takes the ball.
50 min: Raiders are pinned for an incorrect play the ball 30 out from their own line.
51 min: Sezer forces a line drop out and the Titans will get another chance.
54 min: TRY
TRY! Beau Falloon dives straight over from dummy half and scores adjacent to the upright. Prince adds the extras from right in front.
Gold Coast Titans 28-4
56 min: The Titans receive a penalty 35 out from their own line.
59 min: TRY
TRY! Prince links up with Luke O'Dwyer who muscles his way through the defence and scores. Princes fails to add the extras.
Gold Coast Titans 32-4
61 min: Sezer is off the field with shoulder injury.
62 min: Williams kicks a 40/20 and the Raiders will go right on the attack here.
63 min: Zilman saves the day for the Raiders and launches a counter attack. The Titans are 35 out from their own line after tackle one.
63 min: The Titans are penalised in attack.
65 min: Ferguson knocks on 10 out from the Titans try line.
68 min: Raiders receive a penalty just short of halfway.
70 min: TRY
TRY! Williams scores for the Raiders just under the up rights. Croker adds the difference.
Gold Coast Titans 32-10
71 min: Ferguson attempts an intercept on his own 20 and knocks on. Titans scrum 20 out.
74 min: TRY
TRY! Zilman goes straight up the middle and scores a much deserved try under the posts. Prince adds the extras from directly in front.
Gold Coast Titans 38-10
77 min: TRY
TRY! Croker scores for the Raiders after Ferguson dived on a loose ball in his own half before racing away. Croker adds the extras.
Gold Coast Titans 38-16
79 min: TRY
TRY! Ferguson goes straight through the Titans' defence again and sets up a try for Reece Robinson.
Gold Coast Titans 38-22
80 min: TRY
TRY! The Raiders score another consolation try through Joel Thompson. Crokers fails to add the extras and that's the game. The Titans win 38-26.
Gold Coast Titans 38-26