2023 NRL Round 9: Titans 26, Sea Eagles 10

Elinya Chenery reviews the Gold Coast Titans bouncing back and defeating the Sea Eagles on Saturday evening.


Gold Coast Titans 26
Tries: (5) Alofiana Khan-Pereira 21st, 39th; David Fifita 30th; Phillip Sami 60th;, Klese Haas 69th
Goals: (3) Tanah Boyd 23rd, 31st, 66th

Manly Warringah Sea Eagles 10
Tries: (1) Sean Keppie 50th
(3) Rueben Garrick 8th, 51st, 55th

Embed from Getty Images


With Manly barely escaping a Tigers raid last weekend, and the Titans losing the unloseable against the Dolphins on Sunday, both teams were heading into this match with a desperate need to establish some consistent form. With Tom Trbojevic ruled out through injury – once again making way for youngster Kaeo Weekes to slot into the starting side – and Kieran Foran returning to Brookvale to face his old side, the Saturday night game shaped up to be a blockbuster display.

The Titans had to weather a goal-line assualt very early into this match, with multiple set restarts and penalties giving Manly an enourmous amount of opportunity to score the first points of the evening. Despite the weight of early possession, Manly were unable to find their way over the line, and eventually settled for taking the two points on offer from a Titans penalty to give them an early lead in their 700th game at Four Pines Park. After an inspiring display of desperate goal-line defence to open the match, the Titans were able to march up field and score the first four pointer of the evening through Alofiana Khan-Pereira.

A sin bin for a dangerous-looking crusher tackle by the Sea Eagles’ Toafofoa Sipley proved immediately costly for the home side, with the Titans wasting no time extending their lead through a rampaging David Fifita who crashed over, taking adavantage of the one-man difference. A first half double from Khan-Pereira on the stroke of half-time saw the visitors take a comfortable 16-2 lead into the sheds for the break.

Only a minute into the second 40, the Titans were dealt a harsh blow, with playmaker AJ Brimson leaving the field with a hamstring injury and star recruit Foran reagitating an old toe injury – which despite evidently being in pain, he pushed through to play the remainder of the game.

With last week’s second half meltdown fresh in their minds, the Gold Coast outfit were clearly unnerved during the middle portion of match, with the Sea Eagles managing to stack on a try to Sean Keppie and a penalty conversion within minutes of each other to make it a six-point ballgame with 20 left to play. Luckily for coach Justin Holbrook’s heart rate, the Titans weren’t going away without a fight, and tries to Phillip Sami and Klese Haas late into the game gave the Gold Coast side a 16-point buffer to secure the win convincingly.


Embed from Getty Images

3 – David Fifita (Titans)
2 – Alofiana Khan-Pereira (Titans)
1 – Phillip Sami (Titans)

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