Titans' luck turns with win over Roosters - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Titans' luck turns with win over Roosters

Laine Clark 30/04/2011 11:44:56 PM Comments (0)

A milestone match was finally remembered for all the right reasons by the Gold Coast Titans after a morale-boosting 24-13 NRL win over the Sydney Roosters on Saturday.

But not even a fitting tribute to 100-gamer Nathan Friend could entirely satisfy Titans coach John Cartwright.

While happy for his nuggety hooker, who became the first player to reach 100 games for the Titans, he was less than pleased with the officiating.

"I thought we got jammed (by the referees) just as bad last week but you can't say anything when you play that bad (against Parramatta)," he said.

"Tonight we got jammed and we came away with a win.

"I have been involved in rugby league for 40 years and this year I am more bewildered than I have ever been (by refereeing)."

Indeed, the Titans at times didn't seem to be able to take a trick.

Young prop Ryan James was denied a try twice in as many minutes from the 32nd minute.

Then a try-bound Preston Campbell - back from a month on the sidelines with a knee injury - was called back in the 57th minute for a dubious knock-on.

And they also had to endure some anxious moments after winger David Mead cut the Roosters up the middle to cross in the 73rd minute, but video referee Chris Ward deemed Campbell hadn't knocked on in the lead-up after a Scott Prince pass went to ground.

However, they were also their own worst enemies at times, giving away penalties on numerous occasions while in possession.

Cartwright could at least manage a smile when Friend's landmark was mentioned.

The Titans coach would have been forgiven for shuddering when told of Friend's upcoming big game following a horror run this year.

Campbell's 250th NRL game resulted in a 40-12 thrashing by Melbourne and veteran prop Luke Bailey's 200th last round ended in a gut-wrenching loss to Parramatta.

"I was getting a bit over the milestones to be honest," Cartwright smiled.

"But it was a very deserving and typical performance from him (Friend) as well."

While Friend was honoured on Saturday, the name on everyone's lips at the Titans was Campbell.

"Having Preston back helped ... we just looked a lot more composed in defence and attack," Cartwright said.

"He gives that comforting feeling for everyone - coaches included.

"You can't put a value on what he does but when he is out there you notice the difference."

Meeting the Roosters for the first time since they were thumped 32-6 in last year's preliminary final, the Titans relegated the tri-colours to their fourth straight loss.

The Titans ran out four tries to two winners, with Gold Coast pivot William Zillman grabbing a double.

After scores were locked up 6-6 at the break, Zillman showed amazing acceleration to cross in the 42nd minute.

But Titans fans' joy was shortlived as Roosters halfback Mitchell Pearce sent over Frank-Paul Nuuausala in the 53rd and kicked a 67th minute field goal to make it 13-12.

But Mead struck before Zillman capped the win when he pounced on a Tinirau Arona spilt ball and raced 30m to score.

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