Four Pointers: Gold Coast Titans 30 Manly Sea Eagles 10

Peats Adding New Dynamic
Inaugural Titans hooker Nathan Friend has been a solid workhorse since re-joining the club in 2016, however the mid-season acquisition of Nathan Peats has added a new dynamic from dummy half that the Titans have rarely possessed. Peats was brilliant on Monday night, taking it upon himself to rush out of the defensive line on several occasions to put big hits on. His darts out of dummy half allowed the Titans forwards to get on a roll, and it was his involvement which made the Titans set plays look the most dangerous they have all season. It was his wrap around play from hooker that allowed the Titans to find space out wide through Anthony Don, and he also provided a lovely pass for Ryan James to stroll through a hole in the early minutes of the second half.

Manly Goal Line Defence Woeful
Although the Titans set plays were looking crisp and dangerous, the ease of their tries came in part to Manly’s terrible defence on the try line. The Gold Coast were able to withstand multiple repeat sets of the Sea Eagle’s peppering their try line, and easily crossed the try line with the first opportunity that they had in Manly’s red zone. The Sea Eagles struggled to slide in defence, making the Titans plays look like training runs, and they were also guilty of allowing Ryan James to jog through weak tackle attempts to score one of the easiest tries of the year.

James on Fire
Titans prop Ryan James has solidified himself as one of the in form forwards in the competition, with another incredible performance against the Sea Eagles. Incredibly, James is sitting in equal first on the Dally M leaderboard after 15 rounds with 14 points. He showed impressive ball skills to put fellow prop Luke Douglas through a gap for the first try of the match, and then barged through for a try of his own early in the second half. The work horse forward notched up 40 tackles and 146 running metres in a 68 minute performance. If the Blues are unable to tie up the series on Wednesday night, surely James has deserved a taste of Origin in the dead rubber.

Pressure Mounting on Barrett
Pressure must be mounting on Manly coach Trent Barrett, with his side slumping to their 6th consecutive loss in his first season of first grade coaching. The Sea Eagles had high expectations for the 2016 with a heap of big name stars such as Dylan Walker, Martin Taupau and Nate Myles joining the club, however they are sitting in 14th position with a spot in the top eight looking increasingly unlikely. Although Manly can partially be forgiven due to their injury toll, the team has been struggling all season, and Barrett’s opposite coach on Monday night, Neil Henry, is proof of the difference that a good coach can make to a side.

In the Sheds
Manly’s injury woes increased, with debutant Liam Knight suffering a broken ankle that is expected to rule him out for the remainder of the season. Speedy hooker Matt Parcell also suffered a hamstring injury. Titans fullback William Zillman left the field with a concussion in the final ten minutes.


Gold Coast Titans-30
Tries: Luke Douglas, Anthony Don, Josh Hoffman, Ryan James, Nene MacDonald
Goals: Tyrone Roberts 4/5

Manly Sea Eagles-10
Tries: Jorge Taufua, Brayden Williame
Goals: Apisai Koroisua 1/2

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