2023 NRL Round 3: Titans 38, Storm 34

The Gold Coast Titans and the Melbourne Storm faced off in the opening game of an all Queensland Super Saturday.

Result

Gold Coast Titans 38
Tries: Alofiana Khan-Pereira 3rd, 21st; Brian Kelly 39th; Jo Vuna 41th; Aaron Schoupp 46th ,73th
Goals: Tanah Boyd 4th, 6th, 40th, 43rd, 47th, 60th, 74th)

Melbourne Storm 34
Tries: Jonah Pezet 10th; Nick Meaney 24th, 33rd; Tariq Sims 30th; Jahrome Hughes 65th; Xavier Coates 75th
Goals:
Nick Meaney 12th, 25th, 31st ,34th, 76th

Embed from Getty Images

Report

On a blistering afternoon up at Cbus Super Stadium on the Gold Coast it was a day for errors, rookies, and high scores. After an uncharacteristic loss against the Bulldogs last week, Craig Bellamy was looking for a strong turnaround from his side on their trip up the coast, whilst the Titans were also aiming to bounce back from a round 2 loss.

The first 40 of this match was a seesawing affair, with the two sides essentially going try for try throughout the opening half.

With the mercury soaring up above 30 degrees at kick off, the game was played in quarters with drinks breaks at the 20 and 60 minute marks, at the first of which the scores were level after tries from youngster Alofiana Khan-Pereira for the home team and a try on debut for Jonah Pezet who was a late inclusion into the starting side for Melbourne.

The visitors managed to pull away for the middle chunk of the first half with a four-pointer from Tariq Sims and a double from Nick Meaney, before a try to Brian Kelly on the stroke of half-time saw the teams head into an extended half time break with only one converted try to separate them with Melbourne taking the advantage into the sheds at 24-18.

Despite heading into the second 40 with the lead, it appeared for most of the second half that the Storm had simply forgotten to return to the field.

It took less than 90 seconds for the Titans to level the scores through Jo Vuna, even with their experienced playmaker and big-name signing Kieran Foran off the field for a head injury assessment (HIA) for an extended period of the match.

The home team retook the lead outright not long after with Aaron Schoupp crossing for his first of two of the afternoon, before Jahrome Hughes kept Melbourne in the hunt for victory crossing the line with 15 minutes remaining to play.

Consistent errors from the Storm saw the Titans hit back once again through Schoupp in the final minutes of the game before Melbourne had one last ditch desperate attempt to clutch the win at the death with Xavier Coates planting the ball down just marginally within the in goal.

This late effort would not prove to be enough, with the Gold Coast outfit able to hold on through the final sets of the game.

With both teams scoring and converting the same number of tries at the end of the 80 minutes, it would end up being two easily gifted penalty goals to the Titans in the 6th and 60th minute that were the difference and saw the home team walk away with the two points with the scores standing at 38-34.

Embed from Getty Images

3 – Aaron Schoupp (Titans)
2 – Alofiana Khan-Pereira (Titans)
1 – AJ Brimson (Titans)

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