Titans hold off Tigers 21-18 - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Titans hold off Tigers 21-18

By Laine Clark 03/09/2010 11:12:55 PM Comments (0)

Shouldering responsibility is nothing new to Gold Coast Titans captain Scott Prince.

But the inspirational playmaker gave the term a whole new meaning by sparking a 21-18 NRL win over Wests Tigers at Skilled Park on Friday night and sealing a home final.

Alarm bells were ringing after the injury-plagued Prince ran off clutching his shoulder midway in the first half following a heavy tackle by Wests Tigers prop Keith Galloway.

Especially after Prince was heard telling Titans trainer Trevor Gillmeister: "I think I have broken my collarbone".

While Prince returned in the second half, the jury was out on how effective he would be.

Until the 58th minute, that is.

What looked like a wounded Prince suddenly sprang to life, setting up flying winger Kevin Gordon for what would become the matchwinning try.

And he wasn't done with yet.

Prince calmly thumped over the sideline conversion - and a 77th penalty goal - to ensure the Titans return to Skilled Park next week in the finals' first week.

"It was pretty sore. I thought the worst," Prince said.

"The doc said `AC joint' and gave me the magic touch at halftime.

"Gilly (Gillmeister) told me when I came back on that I was a soft bugger.

"The positive is I can't do any more damage - that puts me in a good frame of mind."

On a night honouring retiring dual international Mat Rogers, the Titans also looked to have said goodbye to a home final after watching a 13-0 halftime lead evaporate.

Wests Tigers trailed just 13-12 by the 47th minute after Robbie Farah-inspired tries to Chris Heighington and Lote Tuqiri in the space of two minutes.

Prince's heroics blew the deficit out to 19-12.

But Titans rake Nathan Friend spilt a kick and British international Gareth Ellis swooped to make it 19-18 in the 63rd minute.

Indeed it looked like it still might be Wests Tigers' night despite Prince's late penalty goal.

The Titans began dropping like flies with Brad Meyers (ribs), Ash Harrison (broken nose) and Steve Michaels (shoulder) all receiving treatment.

And dangerman Benji Marshall threatened until the end, jinking away before throwing the final pass seconds after the final hooter, only for the ball to go into touch.

But the 26,103-strong crowd still had plenty to shout about with push and shove between Marshall and Titans prop Matt White after fulltime almost sparking an all-in brawl.

When the dust settled, the Titans had a home final and possibly a ladder finish as high as third.

Wests Tigers were already guaranteed to host a game in their first finals campaign since their 2005 premiership year.

"It was a strong second half. Our for and against...(ensures) we can't finish lower than third," Wests Tigers captain Farah said.

"That's one positive. We could have been beaten by 20 or 30 after that start.

"We have gained some momentum going into the finals."

Of the first half, Wests Tigers coach Tim Sheens said: "What could have gone wrong, did go wrong.

"But credit to them, they came out and competed - they showed plenty of courage."

It was a gutsy effort considering Wests Tigers' horrific injury toll forced Sheens to dip into the NSW Cup and come up with fullback Sean Meaney who had just three minutes of NRL football under his belt.

Sheens said he hoped to have at least Liam Fulton, Bryce Gibbs and Geoff Daniela return next week.

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