Titans comeback ends Storm run - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Titans comeback ends Storm run

By Wayne Heming 09/04/2010 10:42:26 PM Comments (0)

A rare time-wasting penalty helped the Gold Coast stage a bizarre 20-16 comeback to end Melbourne Storm's perfect start to the NRL season at Skilled Park on Friday night.

Titans five-eighth Greg Bird smashed his way over from the penalty for his first try for the club to lock the game up at 16-all in the 65th minute before Mat Rogers potted a penalty goal in front of the posts in the 72nd minute to snatch an unlikely victory.

Storm skipper Cameron Smith was left stunned when his team was penalised for time-wasting while taking a 64th-minute line dropout.

Rogers landed another penalty goal after the siren to complete the upset.

Melbourne seemed in cruise control leading 16-4 at halftime following a hat-trick of tries to winger Anthony Quinn.

It was the second time in two years the Titans have upset Melbourne without their classy halfback Scott Prince, who sat among the 20,083 crowd that were kept on the edge of their seats during the tense final minutes.

Titans lock Ashley Harrison celebrated his 200th NRL game with a crucial try just after halftime which started the Gold Coast's surge back.

Things seemed to be going as planned for the visitors when Quinn crossed for tries in the 14th, 23rd and 30th minutes as both he and Greg Inglis worked over the Titans right-side defence.

Quinn could have had four tries in the opening 40 minutes had video referee Steve Clark not ruled against him in the eighth minute.

Melbourne's opening try came after Titans halfback Preston Campbell spilled the ball deep in Melbourne's half only to see them counter-attack through Cooper Cronk before Quinn crossed for his first.

Former Storm youngster Joseph Tomane put the Titans on the scoreboard with a powerhouse try running through his former Storm team-mate Billy Slater to make it 6-4 soon after.

Quinn was then given the benefit of the doubt by Clark who took about 10 looks at the replay of a "raffle" involving several players scrambling for a bomb.

There was no doubt about Quinn's third try down the short side in the 30th minute that gave Melbourne a 16-4 halftime lead.

But Melbourne didn't post another point.

With more possession in the second half the Titans were able to turn pressure into points as Harrison steamed onto a pass close to the line to cut the lead to 16-10.

Bird was heavily involved, fielding Campbell's bomb on the last tackle before squeezing a pass to the ever-alert Nathan Friend who found Harrison at full pace.

Titans coach John Cartwright admitted he was worried being down 16-4 to the premiers.

"To be behind by two tries against them you have to be worried," said Cartwright.

"To beat Melbourne like that is an enormous achievement, they're machine like," said Cartwright.

Skipper Luke Bailey described the Titans' second half defensive effort to keep Melbourne scoreless as the best for some time.

Storm coach Craig Bellamy wasn't impressed with his side's second half effort.

"We had 16 points at half time and we got beaten 16-0 in the second half.

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