Titans Tame Tigers

The Gold Coast Titans have defeated a timid Tigers outfit 20-14 at Skilled Park tonight.

After getting out to an early 14 point lead the Tigers imploded as they gave away penalty after penalty and made repeated handling errors. Though not making the most of these chances, the Titans were able to grind their way back into the game and go to the break at 14-8 down, before weight of possession tipped in their favour with 2 late tries and a 20-14 victory.

The night started off very badly for the Titans after Michael Henderson dropped the ball on the first hit up of the night, gifting the Tigers an early opportunity to score. Though they weren't able to take advantage off the ensuing set, it didn't take long for the Tigers to get over. A well weighted kick from Benji Marshall found an unmarked Simon Dwyer, who cooly collected the ball and placed it down for the first points of the night. Marshall's boot remained on song as his conversion splits the posts to make it 6-0.

More indiscipline from the Titans gave the Tigers a penalty right in front. Benji was quick to point to the posts and calmly slotted over the penalty goal, taking the score to 8-0 after just 7 minutes.

Things went from bad to worse for the Titans as Prince's kick off went out on the full. The Tigers capitalized on the opportunity in what was a very controversail moment. Another well placed kick from Marshall found space with Capewell and Heighington both contesting the ball. Heighington appeared to knock it on before grounding it, but the video referee gave the Tigers the benefit of the doubt and awarded the 4 points.

Inexperience at the back cost the Tigers a try after Tim Moltzen allowed a bomb to bounce and an opportunistic William Zillman simply out-leaped Moltzen to catch the bounce and slammed the ball down for the Titans opening try of the night. Prince's conversion attempt was a shocker, fading across the posts from not far out.

3 minutes later the Titans were in again. William Zillman was the beneficiary of a nice set play from the Titans. A well timed run saw Zillman dart through 2 defenders to score his second for the night. Prince missed a difficult conversion from the sideline and the score remained 14-8 into halftime.

The Titans had the opportunity to extend their lead to 8 points after the Titans were penalised for holding on too long in the tackle. Benji Marshall opted to take another shot at goal from 40 meters out, this time missing to the left.

The Titans were getting desperate to score points, but it took some magic from Scott Prince to bring them back into the game. In what was a brilliant solo effort, Prince threw two dummies and evaded defenders to score a great solo try. Prince converted his own try and gave us a tied game with 7 minutes remaining.

Just as the game appeared to be heading to extra time some lazy defense from the Tigers on their line allowed Mark Minichiello to hit a hole and put the ball down between the posts. Scott Prince quickly kicked the conversion as the full time siren sounded in the background.

The Tigers can view this game as a missed opportunity after dominating the first 15 minutes of play, but costly errors and sheer weight of possession allowed the Gold Coat back into the game and ultimately gifting them the two points.

Next week the Titans head down to Parramatta to face the Eels, while the Tigers will receive a visit from the Broncos at the Sydney Football Stadium.

Match Details
Gold Coast Titans 20 defeated Wests Tigers 14
National Rugby League - Round 6 - Friday April 15, 2011 7:30pm
Venue: Skilled Park
Referee: Shane Hayne and Adam Devcich
Video Referee: Sean Hampstead
Touch Judges: Daniel Eastwood and Gavin Morris
Crowd: 17,221
Halftime: Gold Coast Titans 8 Wests Tigers 14

Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:
3 Points - William Zillman (2 Tries)
2 Points - David Mead
1 Point - Mark Minichiello (1 Try)

Gold Coast Titans (20)
Tries: Scott Prince, Mark Minichiello, William Zillman (2)
Field Goals: Scott Prince (0/1)
Conversions: Scott Prince (2/4)

Wests Tigers (14)
Tries: Chris Heighington, Simon Dwyer
Conversions: Benji Marshall (2/2)
Penalty Goals: Benji Marshall (1/2)

LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary Welcome to tonight's clash between the Gold Coast Titans and Wests Tigers. Scott Prince will lead the home side against his old club the Tigers, who will be looking to raid his new fortress and take away the competition points.
In team news tonight;

Gold Coast: Michael Henderson has been elevated to the starting side with Matt White dropping back to the bench. Sam Tagaetese has been dropped from the side -- replaced by Luke O'Dwyer.

Tigers: Moltzen moves to fullback replacing the injured Wade McKinnon and Jacob Miller will start the game at halfback. Sam Latu is on the wing in place of Beau Ryan after failing to pass his fitness test. Mark Flanagan and Sean Meaney are the new men on the bench, with Aaron Woods dropping off.
Kick off in less than 5 minutes.
1 min: Tigers kick off. Titans have first possession.
1 min: Henderson drops the ball on the first hit up of the night. Tigers scrum 20m out.
2 min: Goal line dropout for the Tigers. Great little grubber from young Jacob Miller.
4 min: Benji puts in a grubber that rebounds off the Titans and hits him. Titans get the ball back only for Prince to force a pass straight back to the Tigers.
5 min: TRY
First try of the night goes to Simon Dwyer chasing a Benji Marshall grubber.
Wests Tigers 6-0
6 min: Penalty to the Tigers deep in their own half.
7 min: High tackle from Luke Bailey on Jacob Miller. Tigers are going to take a shot at goal.
Benji kicks the goal from right in front.
Wests Tigers 8-0
9 min: It's getting worse for the Titans. The kick off is out on the full. Tigers penalty on halfway.
11 min: Checking a try to the Tigers. Heighington may have knocked that one on.
11 min: TRY
Benefit of the doubt for the Tigers. Heighington chased another Benji grubber and looked to knock it on. Video ref deemed it simultaneous with Luke Capewell's hands.
Wests Tigers 14-0
13 min: Another penalty to the Tigers. Ill discipline there from the Titans.
14 min: Moltzen's kick is too strong and goes dead. Titans get some possession.
15 min: Penalty to the Titans. They enter Tigers' territory for the first time tonight.
16 min: Back to back penalties for the Titans.
17 min: Mitch Brown diffuses the Prince kick.
17 min: Utai is forced back into the in goal after some strong defense from the Gold Coast.
19 min: Nothing happening for the Titans in attack. Tigers get the ball back after Minichiello is forced to kick on the last.
20 min: Greg Bird gives away a penalty by ignoring a held call and drags Moltzen over the sideline.
21 min: Back to back penalties for the Tigers. Lots of ill discipline from both teams so far.
23 min: Good defense from Esi Tonga on the left flank. Took Brown into touch.
24 min: Michaels fumbles a Benji punt, but fortunately for the Titans it goes backwards.
25 min: Checking a try to the Titans.
25 min: TRY
Bad mistake from Tim Moltzen at the back. Prince's kick was allowed to bounce and Zillman simply out-leaps Moltzen and scores an easy try.
Wests Tigers 14-4
27 min: Ayshford penalised for not allowing Ashley Harrison to play the ball.
28 min: TRY
That's better attack from the Titans. A will timed run from Zillman takes him over the line for his second of the night.

Prince missed the conversion from the sideline.
Wests Tigers 14-8
30 min: Jacob Miller kicks the ball out on the full. Titans get a scrum 40m out.
31 min: Bird tries to offload and the Tigers get the ball back. Pressure off for the moment.
33 min: Bodene Thompson nearly went into touch. Just manages to stay in.
34 min: Robbie Farah a bit unlucky there. Michaels puts the ball down on his foot and seemingly loses control. Instead Gold Coast get a penalty.
35 min: Another penalty to the Titans. Great field position here.
36 min: Heighington hits Bird high, who has blood coming from the nose. Penalty to Titans who opt to take the tap. Heighington is placed on report for the tackle.
37 min: Checking a try to the Titans. Zillman could have a hat trick here, but it looks like he lost the ball.
37 min: NO TRY! Zillman knocked that one on.
39 min: Benji grubbers the ball into touch. Tigers looking for halftime.
40 min: Double knock on right on half time. Pretty much sums up that first half I think.

Tigers lead 14-8 at the half.
40 min: If you have Nathan Friend in your fantasy team you will be pretty happy right now. He's sitting on 30 tackles at half time. Harrison and Bailey are back on 18.

Andrew Fifita leads the count for the Tigers with 17. Heighington and Ellis are close behind on 16. Benji Marshall has 2 try assists.
41 min: Titans get us underway for the second half.
41 min: Marshall's chip bounces too high for Moltzen. Could have been some danger there for the Titans.
42 min: FALCON! Mario Fenech finally has some legitimate competition. Utai wasn't watching the ball and a Scott Prince bomb hits him square on the head just as he looks up. Fortunately for the Tigers its ruled not played at as the ball rebounds into touch. That was gold!
44 min: Both teams completing sets and showing some more discipline early in the second half.
46 min: Latu drops a bomb and the Titans get it back. Thompson is inches short of the try line.
47 min: Titans caught offside there. Matt White appears to have a problem for the Titans.
47 min: Alan Shirnack has his shoulder on ice. Early diagnosis is an AC joint injury.
48 min: Nearly a try there to the Tigers. Marshall's grubber just beats Mitch Brown over the sideline.
50 min: Bailey nearly crosses for the Titans. Just short.
52 min: Titans looking good in attack. Can't seem to break the Tigers line though.
53 min: Mead stopped just short of the line on the last tackle after taking a bomb from Scott Prince.
54 min: Knock on by the Tigers. Couple of players show their inexperience there. Moltzen knocks on after a unnecessary pass from Miller.
55 min: Bailey holds on a little too long there. Tigers are going to take a shot at goal about 40m out.
Benji missed the goal. Ball goes into touch so the Tigers will get the ball back via a 20m drop out.
Wests Tigers 14-8
58 min: Ellis knocks on for the Tigers.
59 min: Titans force a line drop out after trapping Sam Latu in goal.
61 min: Knock on by the Titans close to the Tigers line. They were building nicely there.
63 min: Sean Meaney on for the Tigers. He appears to be playing at fullback, which means a reshuffle for the Tigers. Looks like Moltzen is in the centers and Brown has moved to the wing.
65 min: Marshall grubbers into touch and gives both teams a rest.
66 min: Bird knocks on trying to play the ball. Getting close to field goal time.
68 min: Forward pass from Marshall. Titans have the ball in Tigers territory.
70 min: Strange decision there from the referees. Michaels lost the ball in a tackle and Dwyer picked it up and ran away with it. Refs called it back though.
73 min: TRY
Scott Prince show here. Takes on the line himself and throws a great dummy to get through. Dummy's the fullback and strolls over under the posts. Prince nails the conversion from right in front and we have a tied game.
14 all
75 min: Strange kick there from Prince -- opting to kick it deep on the third rather than applying pressure to the Tigers.
75 min: Prince must be a psychic. Payten knocks on trying to play the ball.
Prince misses a field goal after some pressure from Heighington. Probably should have been a penalty to the Titans there.
14 all
77 min: Payten knocks on again attempting to play the ball. Harrison put in a sneaky boot there.
78 min: Great run from Mark Minichiello. Makes about 20m there.
78 min: TRY
Lazy defense on the line from the Tigers. A short pass from Nathan Friend at dummy half hits Minichiello on the chest and he cruises over and puts the ball down between the posts.
Gold Coast Titans 20-14
80 min: That's full time at Skilled Park. The Titans came back from 14 points down to secure a hard fought win. John Cartwright is all smiles -- and so he should be after that.

Gold Coast Titans 20 defeated Wests Tigers 14.

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