The Gold Coast Titans very nearly produced a remarkable win with a last gasp play, but a stray pass denied them a remarkable victory, with the Roosters 25-24 victors in Townsville tonight.
The Titans trailed 18-6 early in the second half, but levelled scores with ten minutes remaining in the match. Sam Walker kicked the match winning field goal with 3 minutes remaining, but the Titans very nearly snared a try on the siren.
The Roosters got the upper hand first when Tyrone Peachey was given ten minutes in the sin bin for tackling Victor Radley from behind in a try scoring situation. Adam Keighran kicked the penalty goal.
2 minutes later, Josh Morris was penalised for an escort and Jamal Fogarty landed a penalty goal to level the scores.
In the 23rd minute the Roosters, on the back of a penalty, sent the ball right to James Tedesco, who held the ball up, drawing the defender in and then passing to Morris who sent it quickly along to Matt Ikuvalu, who dived over in the corner to score a try. Keighran failed to convert from out wide.
In the 31st minute the Roosters scored again off the back of a penalty. This time, Radley stepped off his left at the line, broke through and then got a one handed offload away to James Tedesco who scored under the posts. Keighran converted from in front.
Just seconds before the halftime siren sounded, Tyrone Peachey on the left put in a deft yet wobbly grubber, which evaded Ikuvalu and was dived on by Beau Fermor who scored. Jamal Fogarty failed to convert from touch and at halftime, the Roosters led 12-6.
The Roosters capitalised on a dropped ball by Tino Fa'asuamaleaui in the opening set of the second half. Daniel Tupou scored a good try courtesy of a brilliant tap on by Tedesco, which was converted by Keighran.
Big Tino made up for his error just a few minutes later when he regathered a loose ball after a Fograty kick was knocked back by Patrick Herbert, before diving over under the posts to score. Fogarty added the extras.
The Roosters had a try disallowed due to obstruction in the 51st minute and just 3 minutes later, the Titans made them pay when Brian Kelly barged through some half-hearted defence to race away and score under the posts. Fogarty converted to level the scores at 18 all.
In the 60th minute Tedesco was held in a tackle, managed to offload to Ikuvalu who quickly fired a no-look ball to Morris outside him, who stepped inside the cover defence to score a great try. Keighran added the extras from out wide.
Ikuvalu had a role to play in the next try, when he took the first hit up off the Roosters line to start the set, but he dropped it cold. Jarrod Wallace cleaned up the loose ball and fell over the line to score under the posts. Fogarty converted to level the scores at 24 apiece.
Both sides were guilty of panicky, ill-disciplined and sloppy football in the final 10 minutes. Sam Walker failed to kick a field goal in the 73rd minute, as did Tyrone Peachey in the 75th minute.
Walker didn't miss with his second attempt in the 77th minute, giving the Roosters a 25-24 lead.
Then in the dying seconds of the game, Fermor made a break down the left wing and linked with Sami who was brought down by Walker in a brilliant tackle. The Titans on the next play sent the ball far right in an effort to get the ball to Fifita against very few Roosters defenders. Herbert though ended up with the ball and chose to run instead of passing to Fifita, he got tackled but managed to get a ball away to Thompson, who was a metre from the tryline and with no one in front of him, but he had overrun the play. The pass went behind him and into touch, bringing the game and the Titans season to an end.
The victory sees the Tricolours progress to face Manly next Friday, while the Titans look ahead to season 2022.