2023 NRL Round 1: Titans 22, Tigers 10

Gold Coast Titans travelled to Leichhardt Oval to take on Wests Tigers in an important opener for both teams and the visitors came out on top in fine fashion, dismantling a rebuilding Tigers team.

Result

Titans 22
Tries: Phillip Sami 13′ 23′, Sam McIntyre 41′, AJ Brimson 69′
Goals: Tanah Boyd 14′ 24′ 43′

Tigers 10
Tries: Adam Doueihi 45′, Daine Laurie 64′
Goals: Adam Doueihi 3′
Field Goal:

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Both teams came into the game more desperate for an opening round win than the average team, with the Tigers needing to start a rebuild well and Justin Holbrook on the hot seat this year at Titans.

The game opened up a techy affair and Adam Doueihi got the home side in front early on with a penalty just over three minutes in. It didn’t take long for the Titans to answer, however, with Phillip Sami getting over just after the 13-minute mark for Tanah Boyd to then extend the lead to four with the ensuing conversion.

The two sides traded sets for the next ten minutes before Sami got on the board again to give his side a flying start to the season in the first quarter of the game, extending the lead to 10 after a Boyd conversion. The lead would stay intact for the rest of the half after an excellent display from the Titans and their new signing Kieran Foran.

The Titans picked up where they left off and scored within two minutes of the second half, with Sam McIntyre crossing and Boyd converting to extend the lead to 16.

Tigers wrestled the game back in their favour soon after and Doueihi got on back for the home side with good individual skill which then changed the momentum towards the back end of the second half with the help of a raucous Leichhardt Oval crowd. Multiple assaults on the Gold Coast Titans’ line, however, were repelled by a sturdy defence and some sloppy play from the likes of Isiah Papali’i.

The pressure started to tell, however, and after a number of goal line dropouts the home side crossed with Daine Laurie crossing from a soft short ball off Doueihi, who was given plenty of time and space by the classy Api Korisau playing at the defensive line. Doueihi was unable to convert the try and Wests looked to closed the eight point gap with just 14 minutes to go.

Laurie produced an unforced knock on halfway with 11 minutes to go, off the back of which AJ Brimson was able to break the line off a switch from the ensuing scrum and score with ease to put the game out of reach for the home side.

The Tigers mounted a final attack in an attempt to rescue the game with just under three minutes to go and Brent Naden got over the line only to throw the ball to Charlie Staines who was in touch, instead of putting the ball down to score to put any chance of a Tigers comeback in the bin.

PLAYER OF THE YEAR POINTS

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3 – AJ Brimson (Titans)
2 – Phillip Sami (Titans)
1 – Adam Doueihi (Tigers)

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