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Match Summary The Gold Coast Titans are celebrating on top of the NRL ladder following a 26-24 victory over the Brisbane Broncos at Skilled Park tonight.
The round six NRL clash kicked off League's Heritage Round in Queensland. To mark the event, the Titans wore replica jerseys resembling the Gold Coast Chargers while the referee and touch judges also joined in the spirit of the weekend by donning old style white outfits, reminiscent of times when Keith Page, Col Pearce and Darcy Lawler were the game's most well known whistle blowers.
A packed Gold Coast crowd were treated to an entertaining match which saw the Titans race away to 16-0 lead after just 17 minutes of play. With half back Scott Prince and full back Preston Campbell calling the shots, the Titans were able to set up the handy lead - winger Matt Petersen crossing for two tries and five eighth Ashley Harrison scoring the third.
The Broncos clawed their way back into the match to score a converted try in the 30th minute, winger Denan Kemp being on the spot to gather in a loose ball.
A penalty goal engineered by hooker Michael Ennis just before the break gave the Broncos another lift, and at half time the Titans' lead had been trimmed to 16-8.
Early in the second half, the Broncos withstood a big defensive push from the Titans and responded with a sensational 70 metre team try to make it 16-14, winger Darius Boyd scoring the first of his two tries under the posts.
But the Titans struck back in the 46th minute, winger Matt Petersen bagging a hat trick to put the home side 20-14 in front.
The Titans went further ahead in the 63rd minute to lead 26-14 with Prince setting up forward Anthony Laffranchi, and the home side appeared to be ready to go on with it.
The Broncos however, were far from done with. The visitors came back with two tries, including a long range effort from half back Peter Wallace two minutes before full time.
With the match set up for a frenetic final minute, the Gold Coast were able to regain possession and post a popular home town victory.
The loss for the Broncos may have further repercussions with full back Karmichael Hunt being forced off with injury, and centre Justin Hodges being placed on report for a dangerous throw.
Match Details Gold Coast Titans 26 def Brisbane Broncos 24 Round 6 - April 18th, 2008 7:30pm Venue: Skilled Park Referee: Tony Archer Half time: Titans 16-8 Crowd: 27,176
Gold Coast Titans 26 Tries: Matt Petersen (3), Ashley Harrison, Anthony Laffranchi Goals: Scott Prince (3/5) Brisbane Broncos 24 Tries: Denan Kemp, Darius Boyd (2), Peter Wallace Goals: Michael Ennis (4/5)
LeagueUnlimited.com Player of the Match 3 Points: Scott Prince (Titans) 2 Points: Ashley Harrison (Titans) 1 Point: Preston Campbell (Titans)
LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary Welcome to Skilled Park on the Gold Coast and the top of the table clash between the Gold Coast Titans and the Brisbane Broncos There's been a bit of rain about today but the surface looks good, and a big crowd has turned up for tonight's local derby. Players getting ready to come onto the field... BRONCOS KICK OFF AND ITS GAME ON!
2 min: TRY Gold Coast Titans Winger Matt Petersen scores out wide after leaping above the pack to take a near perfect cross-field kick from half back Scott Prince. Petersen still with some work to do manages to get it down in the corner. Conversion attempt by Prince unsuccessful. Gold Coast Titans 4-0
6 min: Broncos with a repeat set at the line. Broncos forward Ben Hannant loses possession and the Titans survive.
10 min: TRY Gold Coast Titans Petersen gets a double, scoring a few metres in from touch after receiving the ball from second phase play close to the line, hooker Nathan Friend combining. Wide conversion attempt by Prince shaves the upright and is successful! Gold Coast Titans 10-0
14 min: NO TRY - Broncos denied after the ref rules offside following a high kick.
17 min: TRY Gold Coast Titans Five eighth Ashley Harrison on the burst and hits the hole from close range to score. Prince right on the money with the final pass. Conversion attempt by Prince 10m wide of the posts is successful. Follows a repeat set thanks to a clever kick from fullback Preston Campbell into the Broncos in-goal. Gold Coast Titans 16-0
22 min: ON REPORT - Justin Hodges (Broncos) on report for a dangerous throw on Harrison in what looked like an off-the-ball incident. Referee takes it back 70m to give the penalty to Titans after playing advantage for four or five tackles.
26 min: INJURY - Broncos fullback Karmichael Hunt seen limping off the field.
29 min: Broncos with a repeat set at the Titans' line. Pressure on the Titans... HELD UP - Broncos prop Ashton Sims unable to get it down.
30 min: Possible TRY to Broncos. Video ref having a look.... VERDICT...
30 min: TRY Brisbane Broncos Winger Denan Kemp grabs the loose ball in the air following a last play kick. Petersen unable to handle it for the Titans and Kemp is on the spot. Conversion attempt 10m in from touch by hooker Michael Ennis is successful. Gold Coast Titans 16-6
35 min: FIGHT - Prince and Ennis having a frank exchange of views.
38 min: PENALTY GOAL Brisbane Broncos Michael Ennis earns the penalty after staying down following an illegal high shot from Nathan Friend. Ennis makes a miraculous recovery from the knock, and manages to kick the goal 25m out and right in front. Gold Coast Titans 16-8
Half time: Titans 16-8 Broncos doing a good job of working their way back into the match after the Titans dominated for the opening 20 minutes. Titans with 51% possession and the better team overall. Prince, Friend and Campbell being the standouts. Some sharp dummy half runs from Ennis gave the Broncos some important go forward in the latter stages of the first half. Ennis also engaging in a bit of niggle to unsettle his opponents, but he appears to be the key should the Broncos continue to comeback. News from the Broncos' sheds is that Karmichael Hunt will not return.
Second half underway...
43 min: Possible TRY to Broncos. Video ref having a look... VERDICT....
43 min: TRY Brisbane Broncos Winger Darius Boyd scores following a sensational 90m movement. Excellent team try with plenty of players involved. Great show of confidence after the Broncos appeared to be under the hammer in their own 10m zone. Conversion attempt by Michael Ennis successful. Gold Coast Titans 16-14
46 min: TRY Gold Coast Titans Petersen gets himself a hat trick after a kick passing movement creates an overlap out wide. Gold Coast strike back well. Sideline conversion attempt by Prince is unsuccessful. Gold Coast Titans 20-14
53 min: An entertaining contest and we definitely have a game on our hands - both the Titans and the Broncos pressing their opponent's goal line. Titans probably with the better opportunity but unable to convert it into points.
57 min: INJURY - Broncos with some more injury concerns with Corey Parker off the field.
61 min: Titans have a repeat set, Broncos with a line drop out.
63 min: TRY Gold Coast Titans Forward Anthony Laffranchi scores under the posts when Prince puts him a through a huge gap close to the line. The Broncos were under all sorts of pressure following some clever play from Harrison which almost resulted in a try out wide but the final pass was knocked down by a Broncos player to restart the tackle count. Conversion attempt by Scott Prince successful. Gold Coast Titans 26-14
66 min: NO TRY - Titans denied when Prince puts centre Luke O'Dwyer into a gap but the pass is ruled forward. Touch judge's call. That would have been the ball game. Titans playing all over the their opponents but the Broncos hanging in there.
71 min: TRY Brisbane Broncos Boyd gets a double after Hodges sets him up beautifully by drawing the defence and delivering a flick pass out wide. Conversion attempt by Michael Ennis unsuccessful. Gold Coast Titans 26-18
73 min: Broncos make a an error from the kick off and are forced into a line drop out. But a short drop out see Hodges bat the ball back to regain possession for the Broncos!
75 min: Broncos attacking the Titans' line, and get a repeat shot following a penalty. Titans eventually off the hook when the referee penalises Broncos for obstruction.
77 min: Possible TRY to Broncos. Video ref having a look.... VERDICT...
78 min: TRY Brisbane Broncos Half back Peter Wallace scores under the posts following a 60m sprint downfield. Video ref checked whether or not Ennis took out Prince but it looked like Wallace was already well in front. Conversion attempt by Michael Ennis successful. Gold Coast Titans 26-24
79 min: Broncos lose possession. Titans have the ball in the final minute and should see this out.
Full time: Titans 26-24 An exciting finish and an entertaining match in front of a full house of 27,000 on the Gold Coast. Broncos fought back hard and showed they were never really out of it, but the Titans proved too good on the back of a 16-0 lead in the opening stages.