Four Pointers: Gold Coast Titans 24 Canberra Raiders 20

Titans Pack on Fire
The newly assembled Titans forward pack has continued to impress in 2016, with tries from several big men inspiring their 14 point comeback against the Raiders. Prop Ryan James continued his incredible impact off the bench by scoring the Titans first try of the game with a barnstorming run to the line. Recruit David Shillington then scored a great try by bursting through several defenders off a quick tap, topping off a strong performance against his former team that saw him rack up 154 metres. Super League import Zeb Taia was the next Titans forward to make his impact felt on the scoreboard, running a great line off Luke Douglas to score in the 74th minute, and spark the Titans comeback. If the Titans forwards can continue to lay the platform for their side as they have in the opening month of the competition, the Gold Coast will trouble many sides in 2016.

Cowardly Act by FPN
Raiders forward Frank-Paul Nuuausala’s inexplicable decision to take out Ryan James from behind inevitably cost his side the game, and is also likely to cost him plenty of game time. The hulking forward had been in a scruffle with James earlier in the game, and as the Raiders chased their kick off in the final 5 minutes of the match, FPN decided to shoulder charge James from behind. The ensuing penalty marched the Titans down the field, and they scored the game winning try with the possession that they had in the Raider’s red zone. The dog shot should see Nuuausala spending several weeks on the sideline through suspension, and following that, he will be lucky with Ricky Stuart places him back in the team, following such a costly, unprovoked show of grubbiness.

Courageous Titans
Although the final game winning try by the Titans was full of controversy that will stick as a talking point following the match, there is no denying that the Titans deserved to win following the tenacity that they showed. After Canberra got out to a 12 point lead after just 12 minutes, it looked set to be a long afternoon for the Gold Coast, however the Titans showed great line defence and scramble to stay in the contest. No one would have expected a Titans victory with the Raiders leading 20-6 in the 60th minute, however the Titans kept grinding, and were eventually able to create their own luck.

Titans could be in Strife
All of the Titans good work could be undone, if the NRL are to deem that the Titans are worthy of being stripped of their victory for having 14 players on the field. Tyrone Roberts went down with a leg injury in the second half, and the Titans seemed to have been under the impression that he would have to leave the field. All indications seemed to point to this as Roberts slowly got to his feet, however he hobbled to the wing to defend, rather than leave the field of play. During this time, Shillington had been substituted onto the field as he was under the impression Roberts had left, however he was only on the field for a few seconds before being directed to leave. The NRL are yet to comment on the situation that saw the Titans field 14 players, however they should only be punished with a fine, as it only occurred very briefly, and the two players in question had no involvement in the play.

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