Titans sink Storm in Melbourne - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Titans sink Storm in Melbourne

By Melissa Woods 05/04/2009 06:38:37 AM Comments (0)

The Gold Coast Titans vanquished their Olympic Park demons with a spirited 18-6 upset win over a lacklustre Melbourne Storm in their NRL clash.

In their past two visits to Melbourne's home ground the Titans have conceded almost 100 points and scored only 10 but they buried that record on Saturday night, leading from start to finish.

It was the only the Storm's fourth loss at home in 45 games, and their first night loss at home in their past 20 matches.

While the Storm fought back from 10-0 down at halftime, the margin could have been greater but for some desperate Storm defence, with the Titans dominating territory and possession.

Test hooker Cameron Smith started the match at five-eighth with Greg Inglis at centre and Ryan Hinchcliffe the rake but the move didn't have the same success as last week and was abandoned midway through the first half.

After a successful early penalty strike by Titans five-eighth Mat Rogers, the visitors posted the opening try of the match in the 26th minute.

Skipper Luke Bailey charged on to a Nathan Friend pass and managed to plant the ball backwards over his head, despite the best efforts of the Storm defence.

Earlier gutsy Melbourne halfback Cooper Cronk stopped a certain try when he managed to resist winger Kevin Gordon's efforts to ground the ball.

With five minutes remaining in the half Rogers kicked his third goal after Storm lock Dallas Johnson - who made an amazing 59 tackles for the match - was penalised for interfering in the ruck.

The Titans started the second half with the same determination with mercurial winger Chris Walker finding the tryline after a break by centre Brett Delaney.

Melbourne finally got on the scoreboard in the 51st minute when young replacement centre Joseph Tomane showed his pace and ducked and swerved around the defence to score.

His grounding, however, was questionable with video referee Sean Hampstead called to rule.

Tomane's try was all the home side had to cheer about, with Rogers adding to the misery with another penalty kick in the final minute.

Winning their second straight match without injured halfback Scott Prince and posting their fourth victory in 14 games on the road, Gold Coast skipper Bailey said his teammates were "excited" by the win.

"Two points are very hard to come by down here," he said.

"I think we're getting hungrier as a team, there's still a lot to learn and a lot to improve but confidence is gaining and we're getting a bit of momentum."

Coach John Cartwright agreed, saying it was a feather in the cap of his players to win in Melbourne.

Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy said his side was beaten by a better team on the night.

He lamented a poor first half, saying they were unable to build any pressure because of turnovers.

"We had plenty of chances and field position in the second half but we seemed to lack some spark, Bellamy said.

"At the same time the Titans defended really well and we just weren't in the contest.

He said he didn't think the recent travel to Brisbane and then Townsville contributed to the loss.

"The Titans out-enthused us, they out-muscled us, they out-played us.

"They were just too good on the night."

The only possible downside for the visitors was a potential calf injury to Campbell who limped off the field in the second half.

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