An Origin-ravaged Melbourne Storm have held off a spirited second half comeback from the Gold Coast to win 20-14 at their temporary Sunshine Coast Stadium home tonight.
Neither side troubled the scorers in the first 15 minutes, with opportunities going begging both ways before the Titans went in first through Greg Marzhew in the corner. A sublime setup from Patrick Herbert had the away side on the board, but Jamal Fogarty couldn't pot the conversion.
Melbourne wasted little time striking back - just four minutes later Reimis Smith went over after Jahrome Hughes broke into the backfield. Hynes' conversion made it a two-point lead.
From there, the 'home' side went bang. On the back of Reimis' try, the other Smith - Brandon - burrowed over for their second. Trent Loiero followed soon after, carrying defenders with him and a short space of time, the Storm shot out to a 16-4 lead.
The Titans stemmed the flow after the Loiero try, with Melbourne not adding to their score before the break any further.
For the sake of the contest, it would be Gold Coast getting in the swing of things early, with Brian Kelly pouncing on an Ash Taylor grubber which narrowed the deficit to 16-8.
Closer to the hour mark though the Storm seemingly put the result into near-certain territory with George Jennings gliding over out wide off a Nicho Hynes ball - but the Gold Coast weren't laying down.
Jarrod Wallace muscled his way over on 58 minutes to ensure the contest was live, Fogarty finally nailing a conversion to make it just one converted try the difference with a quarter of the game remaining.
The most notable moments of the final 20 minutes - which were scoreless - were the sin-binning of Reimis Smith with a bit over 10 minutes left, and the Titans' ability to butcher repeated chances at cracking the Storm line, including a final-ditch effort down the left flank which saw Phillip Sami attempt a cut-out pass to Esan Marsters which found someone in Row C.
It's now ten straight for Melbourne, who've narrowed the trailing gap to Penrith at the top to just a single victory. After Origin next week, they're in Gosford to face the nomadic Warriors. The Titans on the other hand are at home to the Roosters as they reflect on their 12th position - which could drop to 13th if Newcastle get the chocolates over Parramatta on Sunday.