Zillman reported as Titans down Souths - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Zillman reported as Titans down Souths

By Todd Balym 14/08/2009 10:38:30 PM Comments (0)

An alleged biting incident by Gold Coast fullback William Zillman has soured a 22-14 victory over South Sydney which guaranteed the Titans their first NRL finals appearance and a possible home semi-final.

Zillman was put on report in the 12th minute at ANZ Stadium after Souths winger Jamie Simpson accused him of biting his right forearm in a tackle.

"Look at the bite mark," said Simpson to referees Tony Archer and Gerard Sutton, displaying his right forearm.

"It was Zillman."

Television footage captured Zillman putting his open mouth onto Simpson's arm, giving NRL officials enough evidence to charge the Titan even if the South Sydney player backs down from his allegation.

The first half incident isn't the only concern for the Titans after skipper Scott Prince executed an old fashioned coat-hanger tackle on South Sydney's Nathan Merritt in the 38th minute.

The tackle wasn't put on report but, given Prince leapt in the air to make contact, the incident is certain to be reviewed closely.

The Titans overcame the drama to score a gallant win, overcoming a 14-12 halftime deficit to hold Souths scoreless in the second half in front of 11,977 fans.

Mark Minichiello completed his double four minutes after halftime to give his side the lead, while David Mead sealed the win in the 75th minute to give the Gold Coast their 14th win of 2009 and guarantee the club's maiden finals appearance.

With three games remaining the Titans are also in the box seat to secure a coveted home final.

The loss almost certainly ends South Sydney's finals hopes, as they remain 11th on the NRL table with 23 competition points.

The Rabbitohs led 14-12 after an exhausting first half that featured seven decisions referred to the video referee, for two benefit of the doubt tries to the Gold Coast and one try to Souths, and lasted almost an hour.

Colin Best (18th minute), Chris Sandow (32nd) and Fetuli Talanoa (38th) scored first half tries for Souths.

Adding further misery to the Rabbitohs, Test forward Michael Crocker suffered an ankle injury in the first 10 minutes and failed to return to the field.

Titans coach John Cartwright believes Zillman will be exonerated of the allegation, claiming Simpson had told the fullback after the game that he would not pursue the matter at the judiciary.

"He did nothing wrong, I would bet my house on it," said Cartwright.

"He is very remorseful but the thing you have to understand is William hasn't got any sort of inkling of that type of player in his body.

"The arm was jammed in his mouth so naturally there is going to be some contact, but he had a mouth guard in.

"If there was any contact it was accidental. He spoke to the guy concerned and he doesn't have a problem. I don't think we will have a problem."

However, given Simpson brought the matter to attention on the field after twice being asked by Archer whether he wanted to lodge an official complaint, the NRL have enough evidence to proceed with a contrary conduct charge.

The last NRL player found guilty of biting was the Bulldogs' Brad Morrin, who was banned for eight games for biting Timana Tahu in 2007.

Such a ban would end Zillman's season.

"That's the problem with the system. In the heat of the moment you jump up and want to point the finger," said Cartwright.

"I think he (Simpson) has had time to think about it and he spoke to William and it doesn't appear to be any problem.

"Maybe the system needs to be looked at."

Souths coach Jason Taylor refused to concede their season was over, adding he always thought his side could afford one loss and still make the final eight given there are eight teams split by one win fighting for four spots.

"We won't give up, that's for sure," said Taylor.

"I don't think any of those teams in that group are going to win four games.

"It makes it tougher ... I thought we had a loss up our sleeves and would still be able to sneak in. We set that target a fair while ago."

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