Brisbane have completed a remarkable comeback to overcome a twenty-four-point deficit to run down a shellshocked Titans outfit to clinch an unlikely 35-24 victory in the South Queensland derby at Suncorp Stadium tonight.
The Titans looked to be in cruise control leading 24-10, before a stunning collapse saw Brisbane run in five unanswered second half tries to steamroll their way to fourth place on the NRL ladder.
Titans coach Justin Holbrook will be at a loss to understand what is going on with his side, where they again let a lead slip after looking in control in the early exchanges.
The pre-match build up was overshadowed by the contract saga of Broncos superstar Payne Haas, who just days before kick-off requested an immediate release from the club. Unfortunately for Haas, the home crowd let the Blues prop know their bitter disappointment, as the front rower was mercilessly booed each time he touched the ball in the early exchanges.
Brisbane got off to a rocky start in the match, when backrower Jordan Riki was sent to the Sin Bin for a late shot on Titans halfback Toby Sexton. Riki's absence was missed, when Titans fullback Jayden Campbell, skipped to the outside shoulder of Broncos half Ezra Mam to slide over for the first try of the night. Jamayne Isaako converted the try against his former club to make it 6-0 after less than ten minutes.
The Titans again took advantage of the extra man, when Titans number seven Toby Sexton created pressure with a repeat set and then off the following set produced a superb cut out ball close to the line to find an unmarked Corey Thompson who stepped back inside to score and extend the Titans lead to 12-0 following Isaako's second successful conversion from out wide.
Sexton was at it again moments later rolling in a deft grubber for a flying AJ Brimson which caught the Broncos by surprise to give the Titans a commanding 18-0 lead with 15 minutes remaining in the first half.
With the Titans in cruise control, Maroons Origin bolter Selwyn Cobbo then took a crucial intercept on his own line. The winger was brought down by Titans backrower Sam McIntyre, who was then sent to the Sin Bin for holding on far too long. The Broncos made their way up field, when Gold Coast centre Esan Marsters had what can only be described as a brain explosion, when he also elected to hold down a defender and was rightly marched for ten minutes, dropping his side to eleven men. The Broncos immediately made the Titans pay when Te Maire Martin used the overlap to throw a floating pass to a flying Cobbo to score in the corner and reduce the lead to 18-4.
Despite the Titans being down to eleven men, David Fifita then made an impact from the bench, when the star forward jumped into dummy half close to the line and steamrolled his way over to score an unlikely try and leaving his side with a commanding 24-4 lead at halftime.
The Broncos needed to score first to be any hope of a comeback and they did just that, when Te Maire Martin made a break, the fullback looked for support in Kotoni Staggs but his pass was knocked down, however the ball bounced back up for Martin who scored his first try in Broncos colours.
Despite the lead, the Titans made a bizarre play electing to take a short kickoff, however Broncos hooker Cory Paix charged onto the ball and put Jordan Riki away to score the Broncos second try in as many minutes. Staggs converted and it was 24-16 and momentum had swung.
The Titans continued to make errors, when Jamayne Isaako dropped the ball cold into the hands of prop Keenan Palasia metres from the line. Herbie Farnworth then wrestled his way over from dummy half to score another Broncos try to narrow the lead to just two points following Staggs' conversion.
Rookie halfback Ezra Mam then gave his side the lead for the first time in the game, with a terrific ball to put Corey Oates away down the left wing. Oates then kicked the ball inside to find backrower Kurt Capewell on the spot to score next to the posts and put Brisbane in front by 28-24 with ten minutes remaining.
The win was given an exclamation mark, when Ezra Mam was rewarded with his first NRL try following a superb flick pass from Herbie Farnworth and the Broncos comeback was complete in a remarkable performance by the home side.
A late Tyson Gamble field goal further rubbed salt into the wounds of Titans fans and seal a memorable 35-24 win.
The Titans need to lick their wounds, as the now face the Cowboys minus their Origin stars next Thursday, while Kevin Walters men will enjoy a timely bye round heading into the Origin period.