Michael Schirripa reviews the Gold Coast Titans’ big win over Canberra Raiders at GIO Stadium. Here’s how the game went.
Tries: Sam Williams (56)
Goals: Jarrod Croker (57)
Tries: David Fifita (20), Kevin Proctor (31, 50), Moeaki Fotuaika (35), Jamal Fogarty (38), Brian Kelly (46), Phillip Sami (60), Patrick Herbert (72).
Goals: Jamal Fogarty (22, 37, 40, 47, 51, 62).
Player of the Year PointsEmbed from Getty Images
3 pts – Jamal Fogarty (Gold Coast Titans)
2 pts – David Fifita (Gold Coast Titans)
1 pt – Phillip Sami (Gold Coast Titans)
MATCH REPORTEmbed from Getty Images
With both teams having it all to play for being on the edge of the top eight, this game was a must win for both sides. The Raiders were boosted by the return of their captain Jarrod Croker and the Titans welcomed back AJ Brimson and Corey Thompson.
It was a cagey affair for the first 20 minutes of the game, with both sides just getting through their sets. The Titans kept peppering the Raiders’ right edge defence and it eventually paid dividends: David Fifita steamrolled over Sam Williams and scored an easy try. Jamal Fogarty added the extras for a 6-0 lead.
Canberra were gifted a penalty and found themselves with a one-man advantage after Fifita was sent to the bin for a late shot on Williams; the Raiders would squander the advantage as the Titans ran the length of the field for their second try. Kevin Proctor strolled over from close range after the Raiders’ defensive line was shot to pieces. Fogarty would miss the conversion and the score remained 10-0.
It went from bad to worse for the Raiders, with the Titans going from coast-to-coast off the kick-off to start their set after points. Moaeki Fotuaika was the next to score after barging his way through flimsy Raiders defence. Fogarty converted from basically in front of the posts giving his side a 16-point buffer.
The Titans were not done yet in the first half; Raiders fullback Bailey Simonsson was dragged into touch after trying to clean up a clever kick from Ash Taylor into the corner, giving the Gold Coast a scrum feed 10 metres out. Fogarty would punish the Raiders once more, as he threw a big dummy from the scrum and strolled over untouched. He would convert his own try after the siren as the sides went into the sheds.
It was the first time in NRL history that a team down to 12 men scored three tries against a team of 13.
HALF-TIME: Canberra Raiders 0 Gold Coast Titans 22Embed from Getty Images
It did not take a rocket scientist to say the home side had to be the first team to score in the second half. However, it was the Titans piling on the points once again after just five minutes: Taylor put in a deft grubber for Brian Kelly to cross the stripe. Fogarty could do no wrong as he slotted the conversion for a 28-0 lead.
Five minutes later, the Titans would score again as Proctor pounced on a lost ball from Croker in the in-goal for his second try of the evening. Fogarty would convert for a 34-0 lead as the fans streamed for the exits in their droves.
After a night to forget for Williams in his 100th NRL game, he would cross the line to give the 7,646 fans who braved the conditions something to cheer about. Croker converted for a 34-6 scoreline.
After just over 60 minutes, Gold Coast finally racked up 40; Taylor continued his rare night with a lovely floating pass out to an unmarked Phillip Sami to score in the corner untouched. Fogarty converted and the score was 40-6 with just under 20 minutes remaining.
Gold Coast’s perfect night was capped off with another four pointer with seven minutes remaining, with centre Patrick Herbert bumping off Croker with ease to join the party which piled more misery on the Raiders in 2021. Fogarty was unable to add the extras.
Gold Coast moved closer to the top eight and improved their differential, while the Raiders slumped to their biggest defeat since 2014 and their largest loss at home since a 68-4 drubbing by the hands of the Melbourne Storm in 2013.
FULL-TIME: Canberra Raiders 6 Gold Coast Titans 44
to be advised
Match Review Committee
David Fifita (Titans) – Grade 1 Dangerous Contact Other – Early Guilty Plea 1 match ban, Guilty at Judiciary 1 match ban.