Gold Coast have recorded their third victory for season 2014 with a narrow 13-12 win over the North Queensland Cowboys in front of 9,482 fans at CBUS Super Stadium in Robina.
It was a strange old night at CBUS Super Stadium with a tough contest highlighted by rain, errors and a brown snake summed up perfectly post game by Andy Raymond as "uglier than a passport photo."
The first half set the tone for the contest, as both sides struggled to control possession or field position. Hoisting the ball high was the order of the day as Johnathan Thurston launched one high , took the rebound from Brent Tate and slid over for the opening try and sole points scored in the opening forty minutes.
Neither team could string together attacking movements as the ball hit the turf each time. Titans went the closest though with two efforts to Anthony Don and another chalked off due to the touchline and obstruction.
The heavens opened just before the resumption and it looked to be a gift for the home side. They put it high and jarred it free for Kevin Gordon to swoop in and break his try-scoring drought. Greg Bird converted the try to level proceedings.
In the last half hour of the contest - North Queensland resembled Wile E Coyote continually shot themselves in the foot with errors and unnecessary penalties that swung momentum over to the home side. Johnathan Thurston increasingly got infuriated with his team-mates with each passing breakdown.
Titans though were good enough to pounce on these errors, Aidan Sezer put through several grubbers that almost bore results but were cleaned up just before a Titan could get there. His perseverance was rewarded in 66th minute when his grubber was spilled by Michael Morgan right into the hands of Brad Tighe.
Sezer added the conversion and a field goal to stretch the Titans out to a seven point lead. They almost undid all the hard work with fill in fullback David Mead allowing the ball to bounce dead right after the field goal.
North Queensland weren't able to capitalise until the game was out of reach. A late penalty against Albert Kelly gave them position and they threw it around like it was a hot potato before space opened up for Matt Scott to slide in for a rare four pointer. Thurston added the unnecessary conversion to give the Titans the victory by a solitary point.
Gold Coast Titans 13 North Queensland Cowboys 12
Venue: Cbus Super Stadium
Halftime Score: Gold Coast Titans 0 North Queensland Cowboys 6
LeagueUnlimited.com Players of the Match:
3 points - Aidan Sezer
2 points - Paul Carter
1 point - Johnathan Thurston
LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary
NRL team changes for tonight: North Queensland are one through to seventeen. Gold Coast though have one change with William Zillman OUT replaced by David Mead at fullback and Anthony Don taking the wing position.
Welcome to CBUS Super Stadium for tonight's final fixture of Round Four - Gold Coast hosting the North Queensland side. Titans have gone win, lose, win to start the season.. can they continue the trend tonight? Cowboys won in the opening round and have not won since so it's a vital contest for both teams.
KICK-OFF is moments away here in Robina. Cowboys are already on the field lined up on halfway. They are followed by the home side who are in their teal and yellow kit, taking residence in the nothern end of the stadium.
2: KICK-OFF and followed shortly by a PENALTY! Titans try to put Taylor into a hole but he spills it.
3: PENALTY Cowboys - accidental offside.
4: Is Don, is bad as he drops the ball off a Thurston cross-field kick
4: Cowboys proceed to spill it through Linnett. Titans scrum on their own 10 metre line.
7: VIDEO REFEREE: Johnathan Thurston claiming a try.. there looked to be a knock on from Tate in the build up though.
8: TRY NORTH QUEENSLAND COWBOYS
Scored by Johnathan Thurston. Kick to come.
GREEN LIGHTS..TRY! There was insufficient evidence to rule on the Tate knock on so Thurston gets given the try. It was a massive bomb that was batted back from Tate to Thurston.
8: SUCCESSFUL CONVERSION NORTH QUEENSLAND COWBOYS
Conversion attempt by Johnathan Thurston successful.
Thurston steps up to convert his own try and does so.
16: Sorry for the short interruption folks! In the last few minutes you've missed a Titans NO TRY for obstruction and a brown snake being on the field!
18: PENALTY Cowboys as Nate Myles goes above the horizontal.
22: Brent Tate is slicing through the Titans with regularity thus far, he tries to position his winger but the pass only goes to Aiden Sezer.
24: VIDEO REFEREE: Going up for what could have been a miracle TRY for the Gold Coast..
24: RED LIGHTS.. Academic really, it was knocked on by Tighe.
27: PENALTY Cowboys - Offside.
28: Dangerous tackle PENALTY - Cowboys inch further downfield.
31: OUCH! That will hurt in the morning. Sezer puts up a high bomb that everyone allows to bounce before Kostjasyn picks it up and is clattered by Ashley Harrison. PENALTY sufficient and here comes North Queensland again.
40: HALFTIME - It has been a stop/start contest thus far but Cowboys have slivered out to a 6-0 lead.
41: We're back for the second half! Titans get us underway..
42: VIDEO REFEREE: Kevin Gordon claiming the TRY.. a spilled bomb the culprit again..
44: FORWARD pass.. the call came from somewhere.. and now the Titans have to defend.
45: VIDEO REFEREE: Brent Tate claiming a try after slip sliding in.. checking chalk and double movement.
45: RED LIGHTS.. NO TRY! Brent Tate just put a foot out.
47: UNFORCED ERROR GOLD COAST TITANS
Albert Kelly makes an unforced error.
Inside ball to Kelly who is taken by his opposite number in Thurston and it comes loose.
47: UNFORCED ERROR NORTH QUEENSLAND COWBOYS
Johnathan Thurston makes an unforced error.
Thurston tries to take on the line but is thinking two things at once and drops it.
48: VIDEO REFEREE: Titans claiming one off a grubber that was spilled.. it looks like Morgan grounded it but we're going upstairs.
50: RED LIGHTS..NO TRY! Dropout! Titans though dropped it on second.
53: VIDEO REFEREE: Kyle Feldt has taken off again.. claiming the try but hes dropped it.
53: RED LIGHTS.. NO TRY! He leaped but the ball didn't go as well. Titans ball.
55: UNFORCED ERROR NORTH QUEENSLAND COWBOYS
Antonio Winterstein makes an unforced error.
Cowboys starting to make metres.. Scott, Thurston and Linnett combine to try and send Winterstein away but the winger drops it.
57: PENALTY Titans - offside plus another ten for backchat.
59: Is Don, Is No Good. He lept, caught the ball but touched the sideline.
60: PENALTY Titans - Cowboys with a silly attempt to delay the restart and they are pinged.
64: UNFORCED ERROR NORTH QUEENSLAND COWBOYS
Kyle Feldt makes an unforced error.
Getting past the first tackle is a real issue for the Cowboys currently. They worked well to scramble and deny the Titans before Feldt drops it on second tackle.
66: VIDEO REFEREE: Sezer put another hard grubber through that was spilled and seized upon by the Titans.. checking onside.
66: TRY GOLD COAST TITANS
Scored by Brad Tighe. Kick to come.
GREEN LIGHTS..TRY! Nothing wrong with the onside so Tighe claims the TRY as Johnny on the spot.
67: SUCCESSFUL CONVERSION GOLD COAST TITANS
Conversion attempt by Aidan Sezer successful.
Sezer taking over kicking duties slots it through.
67: PENALTY Titans - high shot by Gavin Cooper.
69: SUCCESSFUL FIELD GOAL GOLD COAST TITANS
Field goal attempt by Aidan Sezer successful.
Sezer adds the buffer of a field goal to the Titan's advantage.
70: David Mead made have been on the elixir allowing the kick to bounce and go dead. Dropout incoming..
73: The halfback tries to chip it for Feldt but it the ball bounces straight out. Titans scrum.
73: Dave Taylor pushes one pass too many and it's right into the Cowboys hands..
74: Winterstein overruns the ball on a sweeping left movement.. Titans ball.
76: PENALTY Cowboys - Myles the man infringing.
77: UNFORCED ERROR NORTH QUEENSLAND COWBOYS
Rory Kostjasyn makes an unforced error.
Kostjaysn knocks it on first ruck of the set. Titans will work it out.
80: PENALTY Cowboys - Kelly was going on with it.
80: VIDEO REFEREE: Well the Cowboys played hot potato from left to right.. and it somehow ended up with Scott crashing over.
80: TRY NORTH QUEENSLAND COWBOYS
Scored by Matthew Scott. Kick to come.
GREEN LIGHTS.. TRY! Nothing wrong with it. Scott claims a bizzare try.
80: SUCCESSFUL CONVERSION NORTH QUEENSLAND COWBOYS
Conversion attempt by Johnathan Thurston successful.