Titans victorious in dour affair
A SUSPECTED dislocated right hip to Melbourne Storm fullback Gareth Widdop has overshadowed the Titans 18-12 victory over the Storm in front of 13,044 fans at Skilled Park.
The win takes the Titans into fifth spot on the NRL ladder while the gap between competition leaders South Sydney and the second-placed Storm is now three points.
The game didn't reach any great heights with both sides struggling for cohesion in attack where they were locked at 6-all at halftime.
Albert Kelly looked to have scored first points after 16 minutes after an Aidan Sezer cross field bomb was batted back by winger Anthony Don. With the ball rolling around in the in-goal Kelly dived full-stretch just in front of Ben Hampton but couldn't quite force the ball after referee Jared Maxwell sent it upstairs.
A few minutes later Hampton was again involved, this time at the other end of the field where he finished off a sweeping Melbourne backline movement which started in their own half. Halfback Brett Finch, filling in for Queensland halfback Cooper Cronk, fired a pass to centre Will Chambers. He proceeded to throw a flick pass to winger Sisa Waqa who drew William Zillman before sending Hampton on a free run to the tryline for his first NRL try.
"He was really tough tonight. He's only a small guy, but he copped some attention and he didn't lay down to his credit," Storm coach Craig Bellamy said of his debutant after the game.
Kevin Gordon hit back for the Titans almost immediately with a scrappy try following Waqa's error in contesting a Sezer bomb with Titans centre Brad Takairangi. Referee Maxwell again referred it upstairs but the Titans were given the green lights after the contest was ruled as fair. Both sides continued to move the ball around but as the half wore on and halftime approached, errors started to freely disrupt the flow of the game and they went to the break locked at 6-all.
Just 10 minutes into the second half Widdop was dragged down from behind in a desperate tackle by Albert Kelly and Ryan James as he appeared set slice through the Titans defence. Unfortunately for the Storm custodian he immediately grabbed in pain in the direction of an upper right leg problem with the initial diagnosis as a possible dislocated right hip.
"He's got a dislocated hip, he's in a lot of pain. Hopefully it's a clean dislocation. Boys really feel for him," Bellamy conceded after the game.
Sezer took advantage of a penalty which was awarded to the home side in the 53rd minute directly in front of the posts and he made no mistake slotting the crucial two points and the Titans were never headed.
Anthony Don extended the lead out past a converted try in the 57th minute after some clever inter-play from centre Jamal Idris on the last tackle. Idris jumped into dummy half before going down the blind side, drawing in three defenders before flicking the pass to his winger. Sezer again added the extras as the hosts led 14-6.
However the Storm were not to be denied and again it was Hampton on the scoresheet in the 61st minute after he finished off another sweeping backline move which started inside the Melbourne half. Centre Will Chambers raced down the western sideline after Finch delivered a pass which put him on the outside of his man. With Zillman across in cover, Chambers fired a pass back on the inside for Hampton who didn't panic and scooped up the pass on the bounce. Maurice Blair's successful conversion closed the gap to two points but the Titans kicked clear again on the stroke of fulltime.
Sezer was the architect and with the Storm defence rushing up to put pressure on him he delivered a perfect face ball to O'Dwyer who ran a great line back towards the posts, beating a despairing effort from Hampton at the back. Sezer missed the conversion before the Storm rushed back to halfway and attempted a short kick-off. 15 passes later, and after the siren had sounded, winger Sisa Waqa was tackled 20m out from his own line to end the match.
Gold Coast Titans 18 Melbourne Storm 12
Venue: Skilled Park
Halftime Score: 6 all
LeagueUnlimited.com Players of the Match:
3 points - Aidan Sezer
2 points - Jamal Idris
1 point - Will Chambers
GOLD COAST TITANS (18)
Tries: Kevin Gordon, Anthony Don, Luke O'Dwyer
Conversions: Aidan Sezer (2/3)
Penalty Goals: Aidan Sezer (1/1)
MELBOURNE STORM (12)
Tries: Ben Hampton (2)
Conversions: Gareth Widdop (1/1), Maurice Blair (1/1)
LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary
Titans: 1. William Zillman 2. Kevin Gordon 3. Brad Takairangi 4. Jamal Idris 5. Anthony Don 6. Aidan Sezer 7. Albert Kelly 8. Luke Bailey 9. Matt Srama 10. Luke Douglas 11. David Taylor 12. Mark Minichiello 13. Ashley Harrison
Interchange: 14. Mark Ioane 15. Ryan James 16. Ben Ridge 18. Luke O'Dwyer
Storm: 1. Gareth Widdop 2. Sisa Waqa 3. Will Chambers 4. Maurice Blair 5. Justin O'Neill 6. Ben Hampton 7. Brett Finch 8. Jesse Bromwich 9. Slade Griffin 10. Bryan Norrie 11. Kevin Proctor 12. Tohu Harris 13. Ryan Hinchcliffe
Interchange: 14. Jason Ryles 15. Mitch Garbutt 19. Siosaia Vave 20. Junior Moors
Good evening footy fans and welcome to the fourth and final game of a curtailed Round 15 in the Telstra Premiership on the Gold Coast. Tonight it's the home side the Titans clashing with the Storm in a match perhaps lessened by the absence of Origin players.
For the visitors, two TEAM CHANGES on the bench with Mahe Fonua and Jordan McLean making way for Siosaia Vave and Junior Moors.
TEAM CHANGES for the Gold Coast side also on the bench with Luke O'Dwyer replacing Sam Irwin. In the NYC curtain raiser the Storm lead the Titans 24-18 with 14 minutes remaining.
Fulltime in the Holden Cup and the Storm have held out a fast-finishing Titans side to register a 24-18 victory. Kick-off in First Grade a little after 7pm.
The Melbourne Storm are led out onto Skilled Park and they head to the southern end (or right hand side of your computer monitor) of the ground where they will receive the kickoff.
1 min: Aiden Sezer gets us underway on Monday Night Football!
1 min: Widdop puts boot to ball on the last and the kick finds touch 10m from the Titans line. Gold Coast scrum.
3 min: PENALTY Titans. Sezer goes to the air and Gordon has the ball stolen in a two-man tackle. Gold Coast on the attack.
3 min: Don goes close in the corner with a shift to the right but Idris' pass is ruled forward. Storm scrum.
5 min: Widdop plugs a kick to the corner and Don works the ball to the 10m line.
7 min: Finch goes to the air and O'Neill bats the ball back before Ryles passes to a Titan.
7 min: Error from the Titans on tackle one. Idris with the mistake. Storm scrum 30m out.
8 min: Blair makes a mistake in the tackle and hands possession straight back. Titans scrum 10m from their line.
9 min: Spiral bomb from Sezer taken well by Hampton.
10 min: Rushed play from the Storm on the last tackle with Widdop hit as he kicked. Ball out on the full. Titans handover on the 40.
11 min: Don bats Sezer's cross field bomb forward before Minichiello dives over. Storm ball.
15 min: Hampton has an airswing after Sezer's bomb but O'Neill recovers possession.
15 min: Chambers puts the ball down with a simple error. Titans on the attack.
16 min: VIDEO REFEREE: Possible Titans try.
17 min: No Try. Kelly knocks the ball on trying to force it and the Storm survive.
18 min: PENALTY Titans. Takairangi tackled without the ball.
19 min: Sezer puts a kick in behind Waqa and Gordon tries to bat the ball back but it goes touch in-goal. Storm restart.
20 min: TRY MELBOURNE STORM
Scored by Ben Hampton. Conversion attempt by Gareth Widdop successful.
Hampton scores on debut with a scintillating Storm try! They shifted the ball to the left with Chambers who flick passed to Waqa before he drew Zillman and passed back on the inside to Hampton who scored the try. Widdop adds the extras from beside the posts.
Melbourne Storm 6-0
24 min: VIDEO REFEREE: Possible Gold Coast try.
24 min: TRY GOLD COAST TITANS
Scored by Kevin Gordon. Conversion attempt by Aidan Sezer successful.
Kevin Gordon hits back for the Titans! Kelly kicked towards his winger with Takairangi contesting the ball which forced the error from Waqa. The Titans winger scooped up the ball and dived over out wide. Sezer adds the extras.
27 min: Minichiello comes up with the error despite arguing the ball got a hand out. Scrum Storm.
28 min: The Storm go through a big whole through Harris before he throws a speculator out the back which is knocked on. Titans play the ball.
30 min: PENALTY Storm. Sezer ruled to have twisted the leg dangerously in the tackle.
31 min: Titans muscling up in defence with a few big hits from Kelly and Idris.
32 min: Zillman throws a pass which was just behind Don and the winger tries to tiptoe down the sideline before being thrown in touch. Storm scrum.
35 min: Idris throws an unnecessary pass to O'Neill.
36 min: Classy kick from Finch puts the ball into the in-goal and the Titans are struggling working the ball out of trouble.
38 min: PENALTY Titans. Gordon taken out when contesting the ball by Waqa.
39 min: Sezer passes back on the inside to Zillman who tries to find his winger but Finch knocks the ball back before forcing it in-goal. Storm dropout.
40 min: Sezer stabs a kick in behind Waqa for Gordon as the siren sounds but the ball just beats him over the deadball line.
40 min: Halftime on the Gold Coast and it's 6-all between the Titans and Storm.
41 min: Second half action underway and the Titans will have first use of the footy.
42 min: Mistake free from the Titans first set after the break.
42 min: Zillman knocks on the grubber in front of his own posts. Storm on the attack 10m from the Titans line.
43 min: PENALTY Storm. Titans in front of the referee.
45 min: Widdop chips to the corner but Waqa can't get a handle on the ball over the line. 10m play the ball Titans.
47 min: Inventive play from the Storm before the ball is thrown into the hands of the Titans.
48 min: Sezer grubbers into the in-goal and somehow the Storm bat the ball dead after Zillman lost his footing. Storm dropout.
49 min: Gordon dives for the corner but the touchie puts his flag up and it's a Storm scrum.
50 min: Widdop is dragged down from behind before grabbing towards the back of his leg in the direction of a hamstring. He's in the hands of the trainers as time is called off.
51 min: Widdop is carried from the field on the back of a medicab. Hopefully the injury is not too serious.
51 min: Play resumes with a Titans scrum feed.
52 min: PENALTY Titans. Storm with hands on the ball.
53 min: SUCCESSFUL PENALTY GOAL GOLD COAST TITANS
Penalty goal attempt by Aidan Sezer successful.
Sezer puts the home side in front with a successful penalty goal from directly in front.
Gold Coast Titans 8-6
54 min: Tackle count restarts after the Storm touch the ball. Titans on the attack.
54 min: Forward pass from Srama to James. Storm scrum.
56 min: PENALTY Titans. Gordon takes the spiral bomb well and the chasers are offside.
57 min: TRY GOLD COAST TITANS
Scored by Anthony Don. Conversion attempt by Aidan Sezer successful.
Anthony Don takes advantage of a brilliant short side play on the last tackle. Good play from Idris who picked up the ball from dummy half, drew in the defenders and flicked a pass to Don who scored. Sezer converts from out near the eastern touchline to put the hosts out by more than a converted try.
Gold Coast Titans 14-6
61 min: The early diagnosis from the Storm dressing room is a dislocated hip for Gareth Widdop.
62 min: Hampton comes up with the ball after Sezer goes to the air again.
63 min: TRY MELBOURNE STORM
Scored by Ben Hampton. Conversion attempt by Maurice Blair successful.
Hampton grabs a double! Finch put Chambers on the outside of his man and he burnt down the sideline before firing a pass back on the inside for his fullback who picked up the pass on the bounce to score under the posts. Grandstand finish coming up after Blair adds the extras.
Gold Coast Titans 14-12
66 min: Blair kicks the ball dead from halfway. 20m restart Titans.
68 min: Error from the Titans and the Storm now go on the attack.
69 min: Ryles of all people chips to the corner where Gordon takes the ball before being thrown back in-goal. Titans dropout.
70 min: Ryles comes up with the error by over running Chambers' pass. Titans scrum.
70 min: And now the Titans come up with the error through Kelly after he is chopped down by Blair in a great low tackle. Storm scrum.
72 min: Finch's kick is taken well by Don who charges out to the 20.
73 min: Kelly grubbers to the corner and it is the Storm working the ball over the 20m line.
74 min: O'Neill bounces off the tackle of Taylor and heads 15m upfield after picking up the ball in his in-goal.
75 min: PENALTY Titans. Zillman is down after collecting one across the chops that appeared to bounce off the shoulder.
77 min: Kelly grubbers for Sezer but Hampton is there to take possession.
78 min: The Storm throw the ball on the last and are tackled 5m out from their own line. Big play from Bailey to put the pressure on Finch who threw a disappointing pass.
79 min: TRY GOLD COAST TITANS
Scored by Luke O'Dwyer. Conversion attempt by Aidan Sezer unsuccessful.
O'Dwyer seals the deal by charging onto a great pass from Sezer and stepping on the inside of Hampton to secure the two competition points. Sezer can't add the extras.
Gold Coast Titans 18-12
80 min: Melbourne with possession off the short kickoff
80 min: The Storm end up throwing the ball around and lose 70m before Waqa is tackled 20m from his own line somehow!
80 min: Fulltime at Skilled Park and the Titans 18 have defeated the Storm 12.