Titans outlast spoon-bound Eels

The Gold Coast Titans kept their finals hopes alive this afternoon with a 24-16 win over wooden-spoon favourites Parramatta, a crowd of 14,159 seeing the hosts triumph over the cellar-dwellers.

Earlier indications were that both sides had turned up to play, but the Eels more than the Titans simply couldn't find a way to cross the stripe. Early tries for William Zillman and Nate Myles gave the Gold Coast a solid start - they defended well and found the required gaps.

Parramatta wouldn't find the line until right on halftime, a desperate scramble to a last minute scrum in the first half eventually producing points for Luke Burt.

The Titans held fast in the second half, despite a blistering Moimoi break delivering Sandow a try up the middle to shorten the gap to four - the Titans hit back soon after with Kevin Gordon scoring a simple try. Steve Michaels also crossed to ensure the home side victory, while the Eels were offered a consolation with Taniela Lasalo getting a four-pointer in the final two minutes.

Michaels nabbed the three points for the LeagueUnlimited.com player of the match standings, with a committed showing in both attack and defence. Sandow was arguably the Eels best, having a good dig despite his side just being a bit below the Titans in class today.

The ultimate result puts Parramatta in serious trouble, the Panthers' win over the Warriors earlier today leaving the Eels stone-motherless last with two rounds remaining. For the Titans it means they join the Knights on 24, just two behind Canberra, Brisbane and the Tigers in the race for the final two spots in the top eight.

It's a tough assignment for Parramatta next week, they go to ANZ Stadium looking to upset the Rabbitohs' applecart on Sunday afternoon, while on Saturday afternoon the Titans have a chance to continue threatening the eight when they visit the Panthers at Centrebet Stadium.

Match Details
Gold Coast Titans 24 defeated Parramatta Eels 16
National Rugby League - Round 24 - Sunday August 19, 2012 2:00pm
Venue: Skilled Park
Referees: Gerald Sutton and Steve Lyons
Video Referee: Rod Lawrence
Touch Judges: Dave Abood and Clayton Sharpe
Crowd: 14,159
Halftime: Gold Coast Titans 14 Parramatta Eels 4

Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:
3 Points - Steve Michaels (1 Try)
2 Points - Nate Myles (1 Try)
1 Point - Chris Sandow (1 Try)

Gold Coast Titans (24)
Tries: Steve Michaels, Nate Myles, William Zillman, Kevin Gordon
Conversions: Scott Prince (3/4)
Penalty Goals: Scott Prince (1/1)

Parramatta Eels (16)
Tries: Luke Burt, Chris Sandow, Taniela Lasalo
Conversions: Luke Burt (2/3)

LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary The Titans are fighting for their season here, a loss to the last-place Eels will spell the end of their top eight chances. For Parramatta, they've got to keep winning to avoid the wooden spoon - Penrith's result in Auckland earlier today notwithstanding.
TEAM CHANG.... wait on, there aren't any! One of those rare occasions this season where both sides will line up 1-17 as named on Tuesday.
Toyota Cup a close-run thing today, the Titans twice got out to big margins before the Eels reined them in - but it was the Titans who held on to win 34-32.
1 min: Time ON at Skilled Park, Parramatta kick off and Gold Coast will receive the ball first.
1 min: 9 seconds PENALTY Titans, Luke Douglas taken high on the first of the match.
2 min: First error of the game comes from the Titans through Nate Myles, letting Parramatta off the hook around their own 20m line.
6 min: Parramatta with some good metres, and here they've forced a goal-line drop-out.
10 min: TRY
TRY Gold Coast Titans
Scored by William Zillman. Conversion attempt by Scott Prince successful.
First points Titans! Great break from Aiden Sezer, before finding Zillman on the inside. "Willy Zilly" runs the remaining metres to score under the sticks, Prince converts.
Gold Coast Titans 6-0
12 min: Superb defence by the Titans, Steve Michaels driving Eels fullback Jake Mullaney into touch when a try seemed likely. Titans scrum 10m from their own goalline
15 min: VIDEO REFEREE possible Eels try to Sandow... no try for certain but deciding what's happening next will be interesting...
16 min: As expected it's NO TRY, it's a knock-on against the Eels, Sandow losing it in the tackle. Titans scrum 10m out.
22 min: Roberts tries a sneaky cross-field kick to find Burt, but it's allowed to bounce and eventually the Titans shadow it into touch.
23 min: Ordinary attack from Gold Coast up the middle of the park, playing hot potato footy and they concede possession.
26 min: Oh dear, Parramatta merely had to dive on a ball to score there, and it's the Titans who come up with it a metre from their own line.
29 min: Superb defence from Parramatta to keep a Titans attacking raid out there.
31 min: Nathan Hindmarsh is off, looking a bit worse for wear.
33 min: The Titans are hot on the attack again here...
35 min: TRY
TRY Gold Coast Titans
Scored by Nate Myles. Conversion attempt by Scott Prince successful.
Given Parramatta's well-oiled defence so far, that was soft. Nate Myles one pass off the ruck crashes through a yawning gap, and Prince adds the two. Good start for the home side.
Gold Coast Titans 12-0
37 min: Eels penalised in attack for Reni Maitua throwing Greg Bird off at the play-the-ball.
38 min: PENALTY GOAL
PENALTY GOAL Gold Coast Titans
Penalty goal attempt by Scott Prince successful.
The Maitua penalty sees Scott Prince line up his third goal attempt of the day. He nails it.
Gold Coast Titans 14-0
39 min: Knock on Titans, Eels scrum with 35 seconds to halftime, just in front of the Titans' line.
40 min: TRY
TRY Parramatta Eels
Scored by Luke Burt. Conversion attempt by Luke Burt unsuccessful.
The Eels with silky hands out the left, it finishes with Luke Burt scoring in the corner. His sideline attempt to convert his own try is waved away.
Gold Coast Titans 14-4
40 min: That is HALFTIME, Parramatta on the board and they'll be happy they got points at the end there. The Titans have otherwise dominated this very blue and gold afternoon at Skilled Park.
41 min: Play resumes at Skilled Park, Titans in front by ten points.
41 min: Bizarre scenes at the restart, Ashley Harrison remained in the changerooms as the rest of the team came out. Play eventually begun, Harrison joining his side's defensive line
42 min: Eels looking good down the right, Blair kicks along the line and looks to have Zillman trapped in-goal, but he goes the short side twice and makes 50m on the kick return! Titans with the ball inside Eels territory now...
43 min: The Titans with a couple of shots at the Eels' line but no luck.
45 min: Parramatta with a promising left side raid, Maitua tries an inside offload but it goes forward.
47 min: A bomb on the last looked to have everyone making a mess of it, ultimately it's ruled as an Eels knock on and the Titans are off the hook
50 min: Lost ball by Gold Coast on the way out of their own end, a chance for Parramatta to close the gap here.
54 min: TRY
TRY Parramatta Eels
Scored by Chris Sandow. Conversion attempt by Luke Burt successful.
Fuifui with a break up the centre of the park, he finds Sandow in support! The little man makes it all the way to the tryline despite the attention of three chasers... and Burt converts. Margin reduced to four.
Gold Coast Titans 14-10
59 min: TRY
TRY Gold Coast Titans
Scored by Steve Michaels. Conversion attempt by Scott Prince successful.
It's a try for the Titans, Steve Michaels the man who grabs the points. Prince converts to once again push the margin to ten.
Gold Coast Titans 20-10
62 min: Titans playing with fire, the ball comes out the back off a last tackle bomb but Zillman cleans up the scraps and runs up-field
64 min: TRY
TRY Gold Coast Titans
Scored by Kevin Gordon. Conversion attempt by Scott Prince unsuccessful.
That should be the match winner with fifteen to go, Kevin Gordon has taken a high ball up to the left side and wrestles out of a couple of tackles to score. Prince hits the upright, waved away.
Gold Coast Titans 24-10
66 min: Penalty Titans coming out of their own end.
70 min: The Eels are desperately throwing the pill around but it's to no avail so far. They have a penalty now 30m from the Titans line which could give them a last chance...
72 min: VIDEO REFEREE possible Eels try to Fuifui Moimoi, the big man has pummelled over but the ball's come loose.
72 min: NO TRY - Fuifui ruled to have lose it over the line. Titans 20m restart.
75 min: Five left, one last roll of the dice for the Eels, but another error means it really is game over.
79 min: TRY
TRY Parramatta Eels
Scored by Taniela Lasalo. Conversion attempt by Luke Burt successful.
Lasalo goes down the right and scores a consolation try for the Eels. The Titans will win this one though.
Gold Coast Titans 24-16
That'll do us for this one, the Titans keep their chances of finals footy alive, while the Eels now face an uphill battle to avoid the wooden spoon.

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