Jack Harbidge reviews the Friday evening clash between the Gold Coast and Penrith…
MATCH REPORTEmbed from Getty Images
The defences were on top in the first half of this Friday night clash with the game coming within a few minutes of posting the first scoreless half of the season. It took until 21 minutes in for either side to cross the line, with Dylan Edwards getting over for the visitors only to be denied by the video ref and the bizarre obstruction rule.
The two sides traded sets without many attacking highlights for the remainder of the first half and, while the defences were on top, there was a distinct lack of clinical attack from both sides; Gold Coast failed to capitalise on 25 first half missed tackles from Penrith.
As a result, the first half saw the premiers kept scoreless and the two sides nearly posted the first scoreless half of the season until Greg Marzhew got on the end of a kick to put the Titans up 4-0 going into the sheds at half-time.
HALF-TIME: Gold Coast Titans 4 Penrith Panthers 0Embed from Getty Images
Penrith came out for the second half in a similar bent to the first, with Taylan May making an error on their first set of the game, but the visitors soon picked up when gifted a pressure-relieving penalty. The Panthers wasted no time and scored off the back of a well-weighted kick from Nathan Cleary on the ensuing set to go into the lead with very little effort.
Now on top and making easy metres through the middle, Penrith wasted no time in getting a second try on the board with Nathan Cleary gathering a Villiame Kikau offload close to the line to cross with ease. Gold Coast struck back with some pressure of their own soon after, but the ball possession came to nothing with Edwards intercepting off the back of some great Panthers defence.
Following the flurry of tries, the game resumed the distinct lack of attacking ability shown in the first half before the game was broken open by May’s long range effort, only for Izack Tago to go alone for a try and then knock the ball on off the ensuing ruck.
Errors continued to mar the game before Penrith capped off their win with a try from Jarome Luai to run out 18-4 winners.
FULL-TIME: Gold Coast Titans 4 Penrith Panthers 18
PLAYER OF THE YEAR POINTSEmbed from Getty Images
3 pts – Nathan Cleary (Panthers), 2 pts – Greg Marzhew (Titans), 1 pt – James Fisher-Harris (Panthers)
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