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The Gold Coast Titans have moved into second position on the ladder following a hard fought 23-14 victory over the Sydney Roosters at the Sydney Football Stadium.
Scott Prince claimed Man of the Match honours off the back of some hard work from his forwards, while the Roosters were left to rue second half errors and errant goal kicking from Todd Carney.
Braith Anasta was the first to score thanks to a beautiful short pass from team mate Mitchell Pearce, giving Sydney a 6-0 advantage after six minutes.
The Roosters continued to pile on the pressure in the early stages but the next try came well against the run of play, with Titans centre Clinton Toopi the beneficiary of a perfect bounce from a Prince chip.
Gold Coast dominated possession for the remainder of the half - they scored the points to prove it when Kevin Gordon snuck over in the corner on the back of a break up the centre from Will Zillman. The fullback's try gave his side a 10-6 lead at the change of ends - the four point margin not indicative of the Titans mammoth share of possession.
After the oranges, Sydney levelled things up courtesy of Shaun-Kenny Dowall, who strode through the line off a wonderfully disguised Pearce short ball.
But in the 57th minute the Titans were gifted the lead when Sam Perrett spilled a pass to give Bodene Thompson a saloon passage to the line. Ten minutes later, a stunning long range run from Zillman from well within his own end gave the Titans a chance to score again and on the next tackle Toopi capitalised on an overlap in the corner. Prince nailed the conversion to give his side a 22-10 buffer.
The Titans halfback then slotted an extra one point to put the game beyond doubt before the Roosters showed some razzle dazzle to scored arguably the try of the match through Anthony Minichiello. But unfortunately for the 9,000 strong crowd it was too little too late.
In what will be a blockbuster, Sydney take on Manly at Brookvale Oval next Sunday. On the other hand, the Titans face the ugly prospect of the Sharks in Cronulla on a Saturday afternoon.
Sydney Roosters 14 were defeated by Gold Coast Titans 23
National Rugby League - NRL - Round 24 - Monday August 23, 2010 7:00pm
Venue: Sydney Football Stadium
Referee: Gavin Badger and Steve Lyons
Video Referee: Steve Clark
Touch Judges: Steve Chiddy and David Abood
Halftime: Sydney Roosters 6 Gold Coast Titans 10
Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:
3 Points - Scott Prince (3 Conversions, 1 Field Goal)
2 Points - Luke Bailey
1 Point - Mitchell Pearce (1 Try)
SYDNEY ROOSTERS (14)
Tries: Anthony Minichiello, Mitchell Pearce, Shaun Kenny-Dowall
Conversions: Todd Carney (1/3)
GOLD COAST TITANS (23)
Tries: Clinton Toopi (2), Kevin Gordon, Bodene Thompson
Field Goals: Scott Prince (1/1)
Conversions: Scott Prince (3/4)
LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary Welcome to the SFS for what shapes to be a beauty. On show tonight we've got two scheming halves pairings, Friendly hookers by name but not by nature and equally matched tough packs of forwards.
On paper, I do think the Roosters have the edge in the outside backs though with Mitch Aubusson and Shaun Kenny-Dowall up against Steven Michaels and Clint Toopi, who are not exactly reknowned for their defence.
Sydney won the U20s 28-14.
Roosters: Leilua starts in the centres, pushing Aubusson into the backrow and Nuuausala back to the bench, Masoe starts with Conn shifting to the interchange.
Titans: Campbell is out injured, Jordan Atkins comes in on the wing and Zillman shifts to fullback.
1 min: Roosters kick off wearing a very blue strip in line with the 'Close the Gap' round.
2 min: Both sides getting to the kick in their opening set, nothing too expansive just yet.
3 min: Gold Coast are penalised for slowing down the play the ball and Sydney get the first attacking chance of the night.
4 min: Sam Perrett takes a dart and nearly gets over - the Titans are offside in the same play.
6 min: TRY
Sydney Roosters TRY
Mitchell Pearce takes on the line before breaking through and sending a lovely short pass to Braith Anasta, who runs around under the posts to improve the position. Carney converts.
Sydney Roosters 6-0
8 min: Anthony Laffranchi is placed on report for a lifting tackle - he could be in trouble with the judiciary.
9 min: Roosters creating all the pressure early, as Phil Graham forces a goal line dropout with a chip kick.
12 min: TRY Workington Town (NL2)
Gold Coast Titans TRY
Well that came from nowhere! A chip from Scott Prince bounces perfectly into the arms of the try scorer Clinton Toopi. Prince converts.
14 min: Matty Rogers tries another chip kick but this time the bounce favours Sydney.
15 min: Video referee - possible Sydney try..
15 min: NO TRY!
Joseph Leilua goes up for a bomb but is ruled to have knocked on in attempting to ground the ball.
17 min: Gold Coast get a penalty for interference but it looked like a poor play the ball.
20 min: Prince grubbers into the ingoal but Anthony Minichiello stays cool as a cucumber and lets it roll dead.
22 min: Mat Rogers looks a little dusty at the moment, limping out on the wing.
23 min: Leilua smashes Prince but forgets to let go of his leg and a penalty ensues.
24 min: Sam Perrett takes an intercept and races away downfield but Kevin Gordon mows him down and his pass doesn't find support - Toopi picks up the scraps.
28 min: Nathan Friend forces a goal line drop out with a cross field bomb and the Roosters have to defend two sets in a row.
29 min: Gold Coast knock it on to relieve pressure and Sydney have done quite well to hold them out there.
31 min: Prince throws an ordinary ball back on the inside and it's picked up by Aubusson, Roosters doing all the defending in the last 15 minutes.
34 min: Sydney putting together some razzle dazzle and a call of six again puts them on the attack.
35 min: The Titans now are holding strong on their own line - Phil Graham loses the ball under pressure, both teams are showing pride in their defence, it's great to see.
36 min: Video referee - possible Gold Coast try..
36 min: TRY
Gold Coast Titans
A break from Will Zillman through the ruck puts the Roosters at sixes and sevens and on the next play the ball is shifted out to Kevin Gordon, who just gets it down in the corner. Prince fails to convert.
Gold Coast Titans 10-6
39 min: Prince grubbers for himself, regathers and then kicks again for Gordon but a Roosters' hand bats it over the deadball line.
Halftime: Despite the low score, it's been a very entertaining game. Both teams have been making half breaks but the defence from both sides, to quote a cliche, has been 'semi-final-like'. Titans dominating possession, they should probably be further ahead than just four.
41 min: Second half is go!
42 min: Bodene Thompson gets caught with the pill on the last tackle, cheap turnover inside the Titans' half.
43 min: Pearce puts Todd Carney in a gap but he can't quite hang on to it - a big missed opportunity.
46 min: TRY
Sydney Roosters TRY
Mitchell Pearce takes it to the line, shapes to pass long but hits Shaun Kenny-Dowall with a soft short pass and the big centre strides through for a try. Carney fails to convert.
49 min: Sloppy play the ball from Sam Perrett gives the Coast a scrum feed on the Roosters' 20 metre line.
51 min: Mitchell Pearce kicks out on the full from halfway, a few mistakes creeping into the game.
53 min: Prince floats across field and throws a pass forward to the lead runner.
55 min: Todd Carney goes within inches of scoring but he was pulled down by Brad Meyers of all people! What a tackle!
57 min: Video referee - possible Titans try..
57 min: TRY
Gold Coast Titans TRY
Sam Perrett spills an easy catch on his own ten metre line and Bodene Thompson scoops up the scraps and scores the simplest of tries to put his side back in front. Prince converts.
Gold Coast Titans 16-10
61 min: He's made a few clangers tonight Perrett, definitely the worst game I've seen him play.
61 min: A penalty give the Roosters a chance to hit back.
63 min: Leilua comes up with a smart kick to force a goal line drop out.
64 min: Anthony Minichiello makes a surge for the line but brother Mark cuts him down.
66 min: Todd Carney puts on the afterburners to try and cut through but he's ankle tapped and doesn't quite make it out the other side.
66 min: TRY Workington Town (NL2)
Gold Coast Titans TRY
Great counter-attack from the Titans! Will Zillman makes a long range break but is run down by Pearce and Myles. On the next play, Scott Prince spins it wide to Clinton Toopi, who crosses out wide. Prince converts.
Gold Coast Titans 22-10
70 min: Braith Anasta goes for what can only be described as a medium kick-off, it was neither short nor long.
72 min: Scott Prince forces yet another goal line drop out.
74 min: Will Zillman throws a forceful cutout pass but it's too big for everyone and goes over the sideline.
75 min: FIELD GOAL
With not much doing, Prince slots the extra one point for a thirteen point lead.
Gold Coast Titans 23-10
78 min: TRY
Sydney Roosters TRY
A great interchange of passing between Anasta, Pearce, Leilua and Anthony Minichiello results in a try to Minichiello. A little to late though, as Carney misses another kick.
Gold Coast Titans 23-14
79 min: Roosters now turning on the razzle dazzle as Mitchell Pearce makes a half break.
Fulltime: A fairly convincing win to the Coast in the end, Sydney made too many errors in the second half, especially Perrett's which lead directly to a try to Bodene Thompson.