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Titans post big trial win over Panthers
Half back Scott Prince and utility Preston Campbell shined as the home side registered a 12-0 lead at half time before putting a disappointing Penrith side to the sword.
The first quarter saw numerous handling errors as both teams struggled with the humid conditions.
Preston Campbell, playing at hooker, almost opened the Titans account after he swooped onto an intercept pass from Penrith's Craig Gower. Campbell ran some 65 metres before being stopped by Panthers full back Rhys Wesser.
Three minutes later the Titans went further ahead when Campbell kicked ahead for a flying Walker. The in-form Walker was too fast for the Panthers cover and finished off a stunning 50-metre movement. Walker converted from out wide to post a handy 12-0 lead at the break.
Six minutes into the second half saw dual international Mat Rogers kick another loose ball into the Panthers' in-goal. Rogers touched down under the posts and centre Brett Delaney slotted the easy conversion.
Leading 18-0 and with a vocal crowd behind them, the Titans looked to have posted an unbeatable lead.
But with the possession flow going their way, the Panthers struck back in the 61st minute when Brett Firman pounced onto a Peter Wallace grubber. Wallace was successful with the conversion and the lead was reduced to 12.
The Titans however were not to be outdone when co-captain Scott Prince capitalised on a some excellent ball movement from Matt Hilder and Chris Walker in the 67th minute. Walker made easy work of the conversion and at 24-6, the Titans were looking the goods.
Co-captain Luke Bailey had the final say of the night with the front rower crashing over in the corner following an excellent blindside movement from Walker and Lelea Paea. Walker was unable to convert but the Titans were home at 28-6.
Both teams will next play in the opening round of the NRL premiership. The Titans meet the St George-Illawarra Dragons at Suncorp Stadium (Sunday, 18 March) while Penrith will clash with the Cronulla Sharks at Toyota Park (Saturday, 17 March).
Friday, 2nd March 2007 TITANS 28 v PANTHERS 6 Scorers Titans: P Campbell, C Walker, M Rogers, S Prince, L Bailey tries. C Walker 3, B Delaney goals. Scorers Panthers: B Firman try. P Wallace goal.
Carrara Stadium, Carrara, Gold Coast, QLD Crowd: 13,457 Referee: B Cummins Kick off: 7.30pm
20 min (1st quarter): 0-0 HALF TIME: Titans 12-0 60 min (3rd quarter): Titans 18-0 FULL TIME: Titans 28-6