Titans escape with confidence boosting win

The Gold Coast Titans have escaped with a confidence boosting and controversial 28-26 win over the Melbourne Storm on Sunday afternoon.

Greg Bird kicked a penalty goal after the siren to hand the Titans a controversial win over the Storm, which helped the Titans to the top of the NRL ladder. The penalty that led to the Titans winning penalty goal came from an apparent strip by Ryan Hinchcliffe which on replay showed that the ball had come free due to a loose carry. Craig Bellamy slammed the decision after the match stating it a ''disgraceful decision''. The loss was Melbourne's first at home this season.

The Storm and Titans traded tries in an entertaining first half in the Melbourne sunshine. The Storm's two first half tries were carbon copies of each other with Cooper Cronk placing perfectly weighted kicks to winger Sisa Waqa who both times finished expertly in the corner. Kevin Gordon replied for the Titans for a try in the corner of his own. The Titans were in again when Gordon snatched a mid-field ball from Billy Slater and Brad Tighe scored in the same place Gordon had just moments earlier. The Titans went back into the lead when some ad-lib footy resulted in Anthony Don kicking cross-field for David Mead to catch spectacularly to scoot away to score under the posts.

The Storm were needing a reply, and got one in the second half when Cameron Smith broke the line and found his halfback in Cronk, who in turn offloaded to Kenny Bromwich who ran away to score under the posts. Titans replied quickly when Mark Minichiello ran through the Storm line and charged over Billy Slater for a momentum-swinging try. But the Storm would respond in earnest when a beautiful wrap around move culminated in a try for Will Chambers.

With the scores locked at 26-all the game looked destined for extra time when the Titans were gifted a penalty with just 30 seconds on the clock. Greg Bird slotted the goal to give the Titans a great away win, and take them to the summit of the NRL ladder ahead of their home local derby with Brisbane next Friday, while the Storm will look to find some answers for their next game, Monday week against the Dragons back here at AAMI Park.


Match Details
Melbourne Storm 26 Gold Coast Titans 28
Venue: AAMI Park
Crowd: 11930
Halftime Score: Melbourne Storm 12 Gold Coast Titans 14

LeagueUnlimited.com Players of the Match:

3 points - Albert Kelly
2 points - Cooper Cronk
1 point - Cameron Smith


MELBOURNE STORM (26)
Tries: Sisa Waqa (2), Kenneath Bromwich, Will Chambers
Field Goals:
Conversions: Cameron Smith (4/4)
Penalty Goals: Cameron Smith (1/1)

GOLD COAST TITANS (28)
Tries: Kevin Gordon, Brad Tighe, David Mead, Albert Kelly, Mark Minichiello
Field Goals:
Conversions: Greg Bird (3/5)
Penalty Goals: Greg Bird (1/1)


LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary

TEAM NEWS | Storm lose McLean, Glasby & Fonua from the team named on Tuesday. Justin O'Neill comes into the centres, with Dayne Weston the new man on the bench, making his Storm debut. For the Titans, five-eighth Aidan Sezer is out injured, replaced by Maurice Blair.

Hello everyone, and welcome to Sunday afternoon Football at AAMI Park where the Melbourne Storm host the Gold Coast Titans. The Storm will be looking to bounce back from their heavy loss over in Perth to the Bulldogs last week, while the Titans will look to build on their win over the Cowboys on Monday night. It's never easy beating the Storm in Melbourne, so the Titans will have their work cut out for them.
Kick off is in 10 minutes!

Cameron Smith gets us underway in Melbourne. Douglas takes the first hit-up for the Titans.

Kelly kicks after the Titans first set, but it goes straight down the throat of Slater.

Penalty Storm. Hands in the play the ball.

1: Storm have a set on the Titans line, but Gordon takes the high ball from Cronk's kick.

2: UNFORCED ERROR MELBOURNE STORM
Will Chambers makes an unforced error.

Will Chambers is forced over the sideline by good Titans defence.

4: Kelly kicks high for Anthony Don who bats it back, but is knocked on.

6: Sisa Waqa looks to have scored from a pin point Cooper Cronk kick. Video referee needed.

7: TRY MELBOURNE STORM
Scored by Sisa Waqa. Kick to come.

Cooper Cronk with a lovely chip with Sisa Waqa grounding the ball.

8: SUCCESSFUL CONVERSION MELBOURNE STORM
Conversion attempt by Cameron Smith successful.

Cameron Smith converts beautifully from the sideline.

9: UNFORCED ERROR GOLD COAST TITANS
Greg Bird makes an unforced error.

Greg Bird's kick off goes over the dead ball line for a Storm penalty on halfway.

12: UNFORCED ERROR GOLD COAST TITANS
Dave Taylor makes an unforced error.

Dave Taylor loses the ball in the tackle.

13: Toumaipea is forced into touch diving for the corner by Blair.

13: Don takes well in goal from Storm pressure on the Titans line.

13: Titans have a chance down the left flank, but Gordon's grubber is too heavy and rolls aimlessly over the dead ball line.

14: UNFORCED ERROR MELBOURNE STORM
Ryan Hoffman makes an unforced error.

Loses the ball in a good Titans tackle.

16: TRY GOLD COAST TITANS
Scored by Kevin Gordon. Kick to come.

A diving Kevin Gordon finds the corner after a great Kelly pass.

17: UNSUCCESSFUL CONVERSION GOLD COAST TITANS
Conversion attempt by Greg Bird unsuccessful.

Bird's conversion attempt goes well wide.

17: Possible try here for the Titans. Brad Tighe is claiming it.

19: TRY GOLD COAST TITANS
Scored by Brad Tighe. Kick to come.

Kevin Gordon takes a bomb in front of Billy Slater and the ball finds it's way to Tighe who finishes in the corner.

20: UNSUCCESSFUL CONVERSION GOLD COAST TITANS
Conversion attempt by Greg Bird unsuccessful.

Bird's 2nd conversion attempt of the afternoon drifts wide of the target.

20: Cronk's bomb is easily taken by Don.

21: Blair goes high, but is taken well by Tonumaipea.

23: UNFORCED ERROR GOLD COAST TITANS
Dave Taylor makes an unforced error.

A Greg Bird offload finds it's way to Taylor who loses the ball in the tackle.

24: TRY MELBOURNE STORM
Scored by Sisa Waqa. Kick to come.

A carbon copy of the Storm's first try. Another pin point Cooper Cronk kick finds Waqa on his wing and he finishes it well under the pressure of Gordon.

25: SUCCESSFUL CONVERSION MELBOURNE STORM
Conversion attempt by Cameron Smith successful.

Cameron Smith once again converts from the sideline.

27: Hampton goes high on the last, but his kick is way too deep and is taken easily by Don.

28: UNFORCED ERROR GOLD COAST TITANS
Ashley Harrison makes an unforced error.

Harrison tries to offload in a tackle where the pass just wasn't on.

29: UNFORCED ERROR MELBOURNE STORM
Will Chambers makes an unforced error.

Chambers tries to gain some metres on the short side, but he is chucked into touch by Blair.

31: Possible try here for Mead.

31: TRY GOLD COAST TITANS
Scored by David Mead. Kick to come.

WOW! What a play. Titans go down the right flank, Don runs out of room, and kicks back in field and Mead takes a spectacular catch to scoot under the posts.

32: SUCCESSFUL CONVERSION GOLD COAST TITANS
Conversion attempt by Greg Bird successful.

Bird converts simply from right in front of the big sticks.

33: Kelly goes high, but Billy the kid takes his trademark catch.

34: Cronk attempts a 40/20, but the bounce goes Gordon's way.

35: Waqa comfortably takes another high ball from Kelly.

36: Mead with a darting run and he gets back to his 30m line.

37: UNFORCED ERROR GOLD COAST TITANS
Albert Kelly makes an unforced error.

Kelly drops a tired looking pass.

39: Cronk with a floater, Waqa taps to Chambers, Chambers kicks in goal and the Titans are forced to bat it dead. Drop out.

40: UNFORCED ERROR MELBOURNE STORM
Sisa Waqa makes an unforced error.

Chambers with a clever flick which just eludes Waqa who was closing in on the try line.

40: UNFORCED ERROR GOLD COAST TITANS
Brad Takairangi makes an unforced error.

Kelly makes an incisive run, but Takarirangi knocks on in dummy half.

40: Half Time in Melbourne and it is the visitors leading this one at the break. We'll see you back here for the 2nd half!

40: The players are making their way back onto the field. Kick off in the 2nd half is imminent.

40: Bird gets us underway.

41: Cronk kicks very high. and Mead takes a spectacular catch.

41: Mead has injured himself in taking the catch.

41: Penalty Titans. Storm judged to have tackled Mead in the air.

41: UNFORCED ERROR GOLD COAST TITANS
Albert Kelly makes an unforced error.

Kelly passes it forward to Bailey.

42: TRY GOLD COAST TITANS
Scored by Albert Kelly. Kick to come.

Kelly intercepts a pass from Hampton and he runs away from Hoffman to score.

43: SUCCESSFUL CONVERSION GOLD COAST TITANS
Conversion attempt by Greg Bird successful.

Birds converts from a simple angle.

45: Blair kicks in behind but Slater takes the bouncing ball well.

46: TRY MELBOURNE STORM
Scored by Kenneath Bromwich. Kick to come.

Smith finds a hole and feeds Cronk who then in turn passes to a supporting Kenny Bromwich to dive under the posts.

47: SUCCESSFUL CONVERSION MELBOURNE STORM
Conversion attempt by Cameron Smith successful.

Smith converts easily from right in front of the posts.

49: UNFORCED ERROR MELBOURNE STORM
Tohu Harris makes an unforced error.

Cronk bombs high, Slater taps it to Harris, but he loses control of the ball.

49: Penalty Titans. Hands in the play the ball.

50: UNFORCED ERROR GOLD COAST TITANS
Paul Carter makes an unforced error.

Carter passes it forward from dummy half.

52: Bit of feeling in this one, as both teams start some push and shove.

53: Dayne Weston has been put on report for a crusher tackle on David Mead.

54: TRY GOLD COAST TITANS
Scored by Mark Minichiello. Kick to come.

The Titans with some great ball movement, Bird offloads to Falloon, Mead offloads to Minichiello who runs through Slater to score.

55: SUCCESSFUL CONVERSION GOLD COAST TITANS
Conversion attempt by Greg Bird successful.

Bird converts from right next to the posts.

57: Titans with a very promising set on the Storm line, but Kelly kicks over the touch line.

58: Penalty Storm. Bailey hands in the play the ball.

59: TRY MELBOURNE STORM
Scored by Will Chambers. Kick to come.

Lovely wrap around move from the Storm. Cronk to Proctor who gives it Slater who sets up Chambers.

60: SUCCESSFUL CONVERSION MELBOURNE STORM
Conversion attempt by Cameron Smith successful.

Another sideline conversion from Cameron Smith. He is 4/4 today, with 3 being from the sideline!

62: Blair takes a Cronk bomb safely.

63: UNFORCED ERROR GOLD COAST TITANS
Nate Myles makes an unforced error.

Titans with some adventurous play with plenty of offloads with Myles trying to do one too many. Storm ball.

64: Hampton puts in a clever grubber into the in-goal and Mead bats it dead ahead of Hoffman.

65: UNFORCED ERROR MELBOURNE STORM
Ryan Hinchcliffe makes an unforced error.

Hinchcliffe loses the ball after some good Titans defence.

66: UNFORCED ERROR GOLD COAST TITANS
Beau Falloon makes an unforced error.

Falloon with a mistake knocking on at dummy half.

68: Slater puts in a grubber for himself, but the speedy Mead does very well to get back into the field of play.

69: Kelly does well to kick the ball down field from considerable Storm pressure.

69: Chambers is lifted above horizontal by Falloon and Myles. They may be in trouble here.

70: Falloon gives away a penalty for a push on Smith.

71: SUCCESSFUL PENALTY GOAL MELBOURNE STORM
Penalty goal attempt by Cameron Smith successful.

Falloon gives away a penalty on Smith, and Cameron decides to take the easy kick in front of goal to tie things up.

74: Titans making good metres up the middle.

74: Penalty Titans. Waqa takes Gordon out blatantly with no eyes on the ball.

76: Kelly tries to take the sneaky attempt at the field goal, but Hinchcliffe and Smith shut him down.

77: Blair goes high and the ball bounces right up in the air for Slater to take easily.

79: PENALTY TITANS. Hinchcliffe strips the ball when it looks as if it was a loose carry.

80: SUCCESSFUL PENALTY GOAL GOLD COAST TITANS
Penalty goal attempt by Greg Bird successful.

Bird converts it! Titans are home.

80: The Gold Coast Titans win! The Storm have lost 2 in a row and have lost at home! 2 rare occurences. A great game of footy finishes on a suspect referee's goal when Hinchcliffe was judged to rack the ball out when it looked as if it was just a loose carry.

80: Full Time at AAMI Park sees the Gold Coast Titans just about get home over the Melbourne Storm 28 points to 26. Thanks for joining us here at League Unlimited, and see you next time.

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