REPORT | Gold Coast Titans 16-17 Penrith Panthers

Penrith keep their top four hopes alive after a scrappy come from behind win over the Titans on the Gold Coast.


Ryan James opened the scoring early in the game after crashing over from close range before Penrith hit back through Waqa Blake ten minutes later. That was it for the first half with both teams electing to take the tap rather than go for penalty goal but neither team could gain momentum. Phillip Sami scored just after half time and Anthony Don impressed again after reading a long Maloney pass and intercepting to run 85 metres to score a fantastic solo try. From there it was up to the Panthers to do their thing and score twice in the last five minutes to send us to Golden Point, where Cleary stole the win with a long-range field goal.


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From a spectators point of view, the first 75 minutes of this game were horrible to watch. Constant errors from both sides mixed with penalties and both sides unable to gain momentum. Titans finished with a 71% completion rate but the Panthers ended on 65%, which simply isn’t good enough. The stats just got worse with the home side missing 41 tackles to Penrith’s 40, Titans winning the penalty count 13-10 and the Panthers with 17 errors, which was three more than the Titans. Jack Hetherington continued his run of ill-discipline and was sin-binned in the first half for a high tackle on AJ Brimson after a warning for excessive penalties and as he ran back onto the field he was penalised within ten seconds for being too long in the tackle. He is facing some time on the sidelines after being placed on report for the tackle and having carry over points from similar offences in his short career.


Three weeks in a row the Panthers have come from behind to snatch victory in the dying minutes and they did it again. After an awful game where they were down 16-4 with 5 minutes to go, Dean Whare busted through some tired defence and Nathan Cleary scored a try to set up a grandstand finish. There was less than 30 seconds on the clock when they went through the hands and big Villame Kikau threw a late offload for Waqa Blake to put over Dallin Watene-Zelezniak to tie the game up. Nathan Cleary had the chance to win the game with a pretty simple conversion but couldn’t get it over.

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We haven’t seen too much Golden Point this year and while most expected the Panthers to belt the Titans, Cleary missed the conversion after the siren so we went to extra time. Cleary has undoubtedly had a rough week with speculation over the coaching situation with his father, and his first shot at field goal was from 40 out and went agonisingly close to going over but didn’t quite get there and went under the bar. Luckily for him it didn’t go dead and concede seven tackles, however Ash Taylor wasn’t so lucky on his attempt and conceded 20m and a seven tackle set. This time Nathan Cleary made no mistake with the field goal to redeem himself for missing the conversion and getting his team a one point win.


Michael Gordon was a late out with an elbow injury so we got a glimpse into the Titans future with AJ Brimson moving to fullback and Kane Elgey starting at 5/8. Brimson was great in his preferred position and Elgey also had a good game after being dropped from first grade for poor form. Word is that Michael Gordon will play on next year and will mentor AJ in the fullback role and Tyrone Roberts will be back to partner his good mate Ash Taylor in the halves while Kane Elgey has signed with Manly from next season. The Titans have a good forward pack and are definitely going to be better in coming years with Peats/Roberts/Taylor/Brimson as their spine with Mitch Rein providing spark off the bench.



Tries: Ryan James 2′, Phillip Sami 43′, Anthony Don 58′
Goals: Ash Taylor 1/2, Kane Elgey 1/1
Drop Goals: Ash Taylor 0/1

Tries: Waqa Blake 13′, Nathan Cleary 75′, Dallin Watene-Zelezniak 79′
Goals: Nathan Cleary 2/3
Drop Goals: Nathan Cleary 1/2



6. AJ Brimson
2. Anthony Don
3. Konrad Hurrell
19. Brendan Elliot
5. Phillip Sami
21. Kane Elgey
7. Ash Taylor
8. Jarrod Wallace
9. Nathan Peats
10. Ryan James
11. Kevin Proctor
12. Keegan Hipgrave
13. Jai Arrow
14. Mitch Rein
15. Moeaki Fotuaika
16. Jack Stockwell
17. Will Matthews


1. Tyrone Peachey
2. Josh Mansour
3. Waqa Blake
4. Dean Whare
5. Dallin Watene-Zelezniak
6. James Maloney
7. Nathan Cleary
16. Moses Leota
9. Sione Katoa
10. Regan Campbell-Gillard
11. Villame Kikau
12. Isaah Yeo
13. James Fisher-Harris
14. Tyrone May
15. Trent Merrin
17. Corey Harawira-Naera
19. Jack Hetherington

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