August 05, 2012
The Gold Coast Titans' hopes of going from wooden spooners to finalists in a year took a blow today when they went down to the South Sydney Rabbitohs 22-18 at Skilled Park.
Contentious video referee decisions which disallowed a David Mead try and gave one to Justin Hunt two minutes later proved costly for the Titans in the final wash-up.
The win keeps the Rabbitohs in touch with the ladder-leading Canterbury Bulldogs.
Read on to see how it unfolded:
80th: Titans looking as good as they have all day now. PLaying really positive footy in search of a match winning try. It doesn't come though and the Rabbitohs win it 22-18.
77th: Titans sign off by giving their fans something to cheer about. They turn on some razzle dazzle thanks to a chip kick and recovery, then swing it wide where Harrison throws a cutout pass to Kevin Gordon who wins the race to the corner post.
76th: Hunt on the end of a massive hit from Ben Ridge and Sezer. He fields a Prince bomb and avoids the charging "Bull" Bailey, then runs into a crunching tackle from Ridge and Sezer. He's slow to get up but looks OK now.
72nd: Prince and Sezer hook up for a consolation try. It was pretty, as consolation tries go, with Prince dabbing a little grubber through the line and Sezer, um, seizing it as it popped up near the try line. Prince converts but the Rabbitohs still lead 22-12.
70th: Crowd announced at 20,187. There was a fair smattering of Bunnies jumpers on the way into the stadium today and they've been pretty vocal whenever Taylor has been involved. Titans officials will be hoping they will be in Titans jumpers next year.
68th: Titans get a lucky break now. Matt King puts Hunt into a hole and he passes back to Merritt to cross in the left corner. However, King's pass in mid-field drifted forward and now the Titans are on the attack.
67th: Sutton getting busy at both ends of the field now. Prince rolls a deft grubber into the Rabbitohs ingoal and it's got Matt Srama's name all over it until a diving Sutton arrives late to punch it dead.
60th: The writing is on the wall now for the home side. Hunt dives over in the corner off a lovely cut-out pass from John Sutton. Titans simply outnumbered on their righthand side. Reynolds' kick is good and the Bunnies lead 22-6. Big ask to come back from that from here.
57th: Michaels has been good today for the Titans. He finds another half gap on the left but he forces the pass and it goes to ground. That's been the way things have fallen for the Titans in the past 10 minutes or so.
55th: Titans with the job ahead of them now. They'll need to score twice and the Rabbitohs are getting some swagger about them. Gold Coast often save their best for last at Skilled Park though.
51st: Bunnies stretch their lead now after a Prince cut-out pass is picked off by Everingham 12m off his own line. Mead was in for the Titans if the pass found it's mark, but all the Gold Coast winger could do was turn and give chase. Reynolds converts and the Bunnies lead 16-6.
47th: Scary sight for Zillman now as Taylor finds his way through a crease in the Titans defence and breaks into open pastures. Zillman dutifully comes across in cover and Taylor throws a massive right-foot step to leave him grasping at air. Help arrives though and the Bunnies turn the ball over to Idris, who collides with Taylor in the biggest impact of the day between the two giants.
Halftime: Titans can probably consider themselves unlucky not to have the lead going to the sheds. They had the better of the game for much of the first half and if a couple of video decisions went the other way, the scores could be reversed.
40th: Idris assumes the unlikely roll of playmaker and surprises everyone with his astute execution. He drifts across field, does a jink, hints at a goose step and then puts an inch-perfect ball on the chest of Ashley Harrison. The Maroons lock bursts through the gap but is brought down short of the line and we go to the break with the Rabbitohs up 10-6.
35th: Huge swing of momentum here. Rabbitohs have crossed at the other end off a cross kick but it looks like there could be a knock on or two in there. Justin Hunt was the man on the end of it all. Video referee says ... try! Titans fans livid, especially in light of what happened at the other end. Adam Reynolds' kick is wide and the Rabbitohs lead 10-6.
33rd: Titans have a try disallowed after a Prince bomb is spilled by Merritt about 15m off his own line. Luke O'Dwyer picks up the crumbs and drifts across field to hook up with David Mead, who crosses in the corner. Video ref found that Chris McQueen was taken out by O'Dwyer as he went fot the ball. Not a popuular call around the ground.
30th: Opposing props Luke Bailey and Eddy Pettybourne engage in a brief post-scrum chat. Possibly discussing the massive don't-arguie Bailey put on his opposite number a play earlier. It looked just as spectacular in replay on the big screen as it did live.
27th: Prince taking the line on now, which is always a good sign for the Titans. He slices through and finds Aidan Sezer in support. Merritt makes the try saver and the Titans then turn the ball over to let the Bunnies off the hook.
24th: And the Rabbitohs strike back through good luck and skill in equal measures. Dylan Farrell's chip rebounds off a Titan to his winger Andrew Everingham. He flips the ball back to Farrell, who runs aournd to score. The kick is good and we're all tied up at 6-6.
22nd: Titans on the attack now. They break down the left flank, then win a penalty just a couple of metres out. Looking good for the home side.
15th: Trouble now for the Titans with giant centre Jamal Idris hobbling after what looked like a problem with his knee. He's back up now but certainly not moving with his usual alacrity.
12th: Steve Michaels scores in the corner after a cross-kick is bobbled by the Rabbitohs. Scott Prince's conversion is good from out wide and the Titans lead 6-0. Exactly what the doctor ordered for the Gold Coast.
8th: Nate Myles has been given the job on Taylor this afternoon, and he has an early win in that battle. He shortens up his Maroons teammate, who was winding up off the base of a scrum 25m off the Souths line.
6th: Rabbitohs don't lose a whole lot at fullback with Nathan Merritt replacing the suspended Greg Inglis. Merritt soars high to de-fuse a Scott Prince bomb. He's been pretty good on the other side of the ball as well, running in plenty of tries in the back end of the season.
2nd: Sam Burgess could be in a bit of trouble here. He's caught Will Zillman with a high shot and the crowd want the Rabbitohs prop "Off! Off! Off! Off!" Referees are more forgiving though and it's a Titans penalty.
1st: Titans-bound Rabbitoh Dave Taylor gets a massive roar from the crowd as he takes the field. Lovely afternoon for footy here at Robina, with the shadow of the western grandstand splitting the field down the middle. Rabbitohs kick off.
Pre-game: The Titans have a precarious hold on a top eight spot and a win over the Rabbitohs today would strengthen that grip and be aa massive confidence boost coming into the business end of the season.
The Bulldogs' victory over the Knights last night firmed their spot at the top of the ladder, but the Rabbitohs will stay in touch in second place with a win in Robina today.