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globalrugbyleague - Sun, 18 Mar 2007 19:19:00 GMT


The Gold Coast Titans may be a more potent opposition then what some rival teams had counted on after the new NRL outfit valiantly went down 20-18 to the Dragons in their debut game.


Conceding the first points of the afternoon thanks to a penalty goal from Dragons winger Wes Naiqama, the home side soon converted jeers into cheers.

Targeting the Dragons left-side defence, the honour of taking out the Titan’s very first try went to winger Chris Walker who impressed with his speed down the sideline.

The former Melbourne Storm player later scored a second four-pointer while converting every goal attempt, highlighting that he is still an asset in the NRL.

It wasn’t a complete walk over the rainbow for Walker. He was also put on report by Referee Shayne Hayne for a high shot on fullback Josh Morris.

The man who was undoubtedly the Titans best player of the game also left the field late in the proceedings with what appeared to be a wrist injury.

On a day when the Titans were eager to score their maiden home win in front of 42,030 fans at Suncorp Stadium, the Dragons were in no mood to give the debutants a housewarming.

Behind 6-2 Dragons five-eighth Richie Williams bagged the first of his two tries to lock the scores at 6-all by half-time.

The Titans then had a shocking start to the second-half when a Richard Williams nabbed intercept try and a four-pointer to Dragons centre Keith Julia gave Nathan Brown’s men a massive 20-6 lead.

But in a boost for the character of the debutants, the crowd favourites hit back when Jake Webster got a hand to the loose ball off an error from Dragons fullback Josh Morris.

With two-points the only difference between the two sides inside the final fifteen minutes of play, both teams stumbled across opportunities that went horribly astray.

The video hreferee determined that Wes Naiqama did not ground a Richard Williams grubber kick while Lelea Paea was unable to finish off some good lead up play by Mat Rogers.

It was also a historic day for the Kogorah candy canes who had not won an opening round clash since 2001.

Given the form of some of the other sides in round 1, a repeat performance like that from the Titans should see them score their first win sooner rather then later.

Will the Titans be cursed at home like the Western Force? That’s our question of the round. Email us via our contact form.

ST GEORGE-ILLAWARRA 20 (R Williams 2, K Lulia tries; W Naiqama 3 goals, 1 penalty goal) def GOLD COAST 18 (C Walker 2, J Webster tries; C Walker 3 goals) at Suncorp Stadium. Referee: Shayne Hayne.
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