Titans survive scare to rope in Cowboys

The Gold Coast Titans have survived an early second half scare to leap into 2nd position after a 37-18 win at home in front of 14,032 fans.

The first half was a points flurry for the Titans after a scrappy opening twenty minutes with Scott Prince making fools of a few defenders to score the opening points. Nathan Friend followed the same pattern, finding some lazy defenders and exploiting them to double their advantage. Steve Michaels ended the half with a try after a Prince grubber kick and Prince slotted a field goal to make the halftime score 19-0.

Second half started all Cowboys, when a pinpoint cross-field bomb from Bowen landed for Graham who offloaded for Williams to score his first. Luke O'Donnell and Nathan Friend would be sinbinned for fighting allowing Taumata to stab one behind the defensive line for Williams to get his second and bringing the Cowboys back into the game.

Anthony Watts would take a leaf out of Friends book and find some space from dummy-half reducing the Titans advantage to only one point. Unfortunately that is where the resistance ended, Luke Bailey opened the floodgates for some late points when he ran a good line to score. The offloads would be killer for North Queensland, allowing Gold Coast to go back to back the new father Minichiello collecting the spoils this time.

Steve Michaels put the final nail in the coffin at fulltime when he was on the end of a simple backline play from the scrum making the end scoreline 37-18. North Queensland have several worries with Scott Bolton being accused of biting, Luke O'Donnell and Matthew Scott injured, continuing a woeful season.

Match Details
Gold Coast Titans 37 defeated North Queensland Cowboys 18
National Rugby League - NRL - Round 23 - Saturday August 14, 2010 5:30pm
Venue: Skilled Park
Referee: Ashley Klein and Jason Robinson
Video Referee: Tim Mander
Touch Judges: Paul Holland and Gavin Reynolds
Crowd: 14,032
Halftime: Gold Coast Titans 19 North Queensland Cowboys 0

Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:
3 Points - Scott Prince (1 Try, 6 Conversions, 1 Field Goal)
2 Points - Preston Campbell
1 Point - Mat Rogers

Gold Coast Titans (37)
Tries: Steve Michaels (2), Luke Bailey, Scott Prince, Mark Minichiello, Nathan Friend
Field Goals: Scott Prince (1/1)
Conversions: Scott Prince (6/6)

North Queensland Cowboys (18)
Tries: Ty Williams (2), Anthony Watts
Conversions: John Williams (3/3)

LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary Welcome to Skilled Park for another Queensland derby, this time between the Gold Coast Titans and North Queensland Cowboys. Earlier in the National Youth Competition, North Queensland took first position after the Roosters shock loss last night, with a penalty goal over the Titans youth side. They won 26 points to 24.
Gold Coast have two changes, with Greg Bird and Michael Henderson out, replaced by Ben Ridge and Aaron Cannings. North Queensland have ruled out Will Tupou who played toyota cup earlier, also another cosmetic change, with Webb starting in place of Mason.
Both sides have hit the field, with it looking like the Cowboys will kick off tonights match.
1 min: The referee has blown time on and Taumata kicks it deep.
3 min: The Cowboys want no part of a bomb which bounces into Williams hands but he gets it stolen. Titans have a great opportunity to open the scoring.
5 min: First penalty of the night for the Cowboys.
5 min: Another penalty for the Cowboys here, for offside. Toopi has also accused Bolton of biting him!
7 min: The referees are loving their whistle tonight, another penalty this time to the Titans for holding on too long.
8 min: A miracle pass from Minichiello to Campbell who throws a speculator to Michaels but he drops it.
10 min: Almost. Off their third penalty for the night, Cowboys try a kick for Graham but Taumata put too much on it and it goes dead.
12 min: William Zillman has an opportunity to race away from a cut-out but he drops the ball, luckily though it was ruled forward. A let off for the Coast.
18 min: The Titans have persisted with bombing the back three but it hasn't worked yet. Cowboys almost sneak through, with Rovelli showing some pace.
20 min: Unlucky penalty here against Ty Williams who got Scott Prince in a dangerous position, while he was on the ground.
23 min: TRY
Their domination has finally paid off. Prince finds a slow forwardand just puts on a step and is over for the opening points. Prince has no troubles converting his own try.
Gold Coast Titans 6-0
25 min: Leeson Ah Mau bursts through the line but he forgets the ball.
26 min: Ah Mau makes up for his error, rattling Brad Meyers with a tackle forcing a mistake.
31 min: Six more for the Titans when Tonga has a grab at the ball.
33 min: TRY
Another soft defensive effort, this time on Nathan Friend who just scooted fromdummy-half and beat some flimsy defence. Prince with another relatively easy kick, slots it.
Gold Coast Titans 12-0
36 min: Dane Hogan puts Kevin Gordon in an awkward position and gets penalised.
38 min: TRY
Too easy there for the Titans, Prince puts through a grubber and with chasers Michaels beats everyone else to score. Prince is three from three tonight with another conversion.
Gold Coast Titans 18-0
40 min: FIELD GOAL
Some brilliant ballwork between Rogers and Campbell almost sends Laffranchi over but he's held up. Prince doesn't miss a trick off the next play the ball and gives his side a nineteen point advantage with a field goal.
Gold Coast Titans 19-0
41 min: Both sides have came back onto the field, will the Titans go on with this or will the Cowboys show some resolve? We'll find out now as Prince kicks off the second half.
41 min: Early penalty for the Cowboys for some high contact.
44 min: TRY
Pinpoint kick from Bowen finds Graham who offloads to Williams who strolls in for the Cowboys first points. Williams kicks it straight from the sideline and it goes over.
Gold Coast Titans 19-6
45 min: A high tackle on Campbell has ignited things now, with O'Donnell and Friend squaring up to each other.
46 min: Luke O'Donnell has been sent to the bin for his involvement in the fight.
46 min: Friend soon joins him as well.
47 min: Abusing the whistle, the referee this time for Ben Harris holding down for too long.
49 min: A nice tackle from Ashley Graham forces Gordon into the in-goal. Repeat set, North Queensland.
52 min: TRY
Arana Taumata stabs one behind the defensive line and Ty William pounces on the ball for his second try. It's straight like an arrow again and converted by Williams.
Gold Coast Titans 19-12
52 min: Tricky play from the kick-off from Campbell trying the short one but it doesn't come off, Anthony Watts slides in and saves it.
54 min: Fortunate call for the Titans here, saying Bowen spilled it when it was probably stripped.
55 min: Matt Bowen saves a certain try, with a forceful tackle on William Zillman.
55 min: Cowboys get a piggback again with another penalty.
58 min: TRY
The momentum is all with the Cowboys, this try was down to Anthony Watts who just dived over past Ben Ridge. Williams with a much easier kick this time, kicks it from in front.
Gold Coast Titans 19-18
61 min: Ben Harris is caught offside to ruin all the Cowboys good work from the last set.
62 min: Checking to see if Luke Bailey could have put the Titans clear again.
64 min: TRY
Bailey deserved a try after some good runs earlier, he rampaged onto a ball from Michaels to score. Prince kicks another one from in front.
Gold Coast Titans 25-18
67 min: TRY
The resistance has ended for the Cowboys. Offloads have killed them, with Gordon and Michaels combining to put Minichiello who's wife had a baby in to score. Prince continues his perfect record tonight.
Gold Coast Titans 31-18
68 min: Matt Scott making a tackle from the kick-off is accidently elbowed and he's worse for wear. Also for theCowboys, Luke O'Donnell went off with a bung knee.
72 min: Steve Michaels fires a great pass but its too the guy in the stands.
73 min: Repeat set for the Titans after Tonga drops it, they try an early kick but Ty Williams covers it.
74 min: Rovelli compounds the Cowboys worries, kicking it out on the full.
77 min: Nathan Friend can't stay out of trouble, getting pinged for a lifting tackle.
78 min: Steve Michaels should of just pinned the ears back but he tries to send Gordon away and he drops it with the line wide open.
80 min: TRY
A simple backline movement off the scrum, gives Michaels his second try for the night and that should be fulltime, after Prince converts and keeps a perfect record for the night.
Gold Coast Titans 37-18

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