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Titans put Tigers' finals hopes at risk

GOLD COAST 29/08/2009 10:43:46 PM Comments (0)

He kept them in the game with two tries but West Tigers skipper Robbie Farah apologised to teammates for some costly errors after the Tigers NRL season almost certainly ended at the hands of Gold Coast at Skilled Park on Saturday night.

The Titans - who were selling finals T-shirts to fans before the clash - may have nailed the Tigers 2009 coffin closed with an entertaining 36-24 win which leaves the Tigers having to beat the Bulldogs next week and hope for a few miracle results to go their way.

"I put my hand up and said sorry to the boys after coming up with a couple of errors," said Farah after the entertaining loss.

One of them resulted in former Melbourne forward Sam Tagataese, who played in the centres, scoring a crucial second half try after Farah took a 20 metre tap and failed to find touch with his kick.

Veteran Titan Mat Rogers, who switched from five-eighth to fullback with Preston Campbell, swooped on the ball, wrong footed the short side defence and sent the powerful Tagataese away for his first try for the club.

Rogers, 33, had earlier displayed his silky skills to regather a Campbell grubber kick and score to break a 24-all deadlock with 10 minutes remaining.

The Tigers flew out to a shock 12-0 lead after tries to Benji Marshall in the third minute of action and Farah six minutes later.

They almost scored again before Titans co-captain Scott Prince crossed after the pint-sized Campbell spurted through a gap and delivered the final pass even though he probably could have scored himself.

Titans coach John Cartwright said at 12-0 down things weren't looking good against a Tigers side who thrive on broken field attack.

"A 12-0 scoreline so early is scary against them, they're a real momentum side," said Cartwright.

"It could have got ugly had it got to 18-0."

The game produced a number of controversial video referee decisions, including the first of Farah's double when he appeared to come up short grounding the ball.

Tigers coach Tim Sheens wasn't making any excuses with the club's season likely to be officially over by the end of the weekend.

"We lost the game rather than they won it," he said.

"We jumped to the lead but we didn't play well. We score tries every week but we're not strong enough defensively and that was across the park."

Cartwright was very impressed with the performance of Tagataese who was damaging out wide with his size and speed.

"He's great. He's a weapon," he said.

"He gives us something we haven't had since we entered the comp.

"A big tall fast, outside centre or back-rower."

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