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Titans out of the blocks - Australian Rugby league News
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globalrugbyleague - Sun, 18 Feb 2007 20:21:00 GMT
It was all about opportunity last night as Gold Coast Titans Coach John Cartwright saw his young squad get demolished 32-6 by a pumped up Melbourne Storm outfit in Coffs Harbour.

While last years minor premiers and grand finalists ran out comfortable 32-6 winners, it was the courage and determination of the Titans which silenced a host of critics, delighted the crowd of almost 12000 and showcased the NRL’S newest teams wealth of rising young talent.

The Titans, made up mostly of Queensland Cup players, kept pace with their more fancied rivals for much of the match, with Melbourne only running away with the game late in the last quarter.

Melbourne started at a frantic pace, with a dropped high ball by a shell shocked Gold Coast team during the first few minutes of the encounter putting Melbourne straight on the attack.

Melbourne skipper Dallas Johnson made the NRL new boys pay immediately, opening the scoring with a try next to the posts. Storm hooker Cameron Smith slotted the easy conversion, giving the visitors a 6-0 lead after just four minutes.

Melbourne was in again just nine minutes later, after a scintillating 60 metre backline movement, resulted in a try to new recruit, Anthony Quinn.

Smith converted another relatively easy kick, blowing the Storm out to a 12-0 lead.

The Titans squandered a few promising opportunities early in the second quarter, with a lack of continuity and cohesion seeing them finish just short of the line on several occasions.

When the Titans did eventually click, it was Chris Walker who registered the clubs first points, diving on a crafty grubber kick from impressive rookie half, Isaac Kauffman. Walkers’ conversion made it 12-6 after 35 minutes.

It wasn’t until the 59th minute that Melbourne was able to extend its lead, when an opportunist cross field bomb by Cooper Cronk, resulted in a try to Sam Tagataese.

Melbourne winger Matt Geyer was unable to convert the difficult chance, leaving Melbourne 16-6 up at three quarter time.

It was during the final period that the Storm took the control their vastly experienced backline finding holes in the tiring Titans defence.

Just just two minutes after the break Melbourne clicked into action, with some razzle dazzle backline interplay resulting in a try to William Chambers.

Geyer missed another difficult conversion attempt, but the Storm was well and truly in control at 20-6.

Chambers crossed for his second try just three minutes later, in what was basically a carbon copy backline movement from the Storm.

In a breathtaking fifty metre movement, the ball passed between six sets of hands before Chambers was able to race away to score his second. Cameron Smith was able to convert the Storms fifth try taking the score to 26-6.

Storm fullback Billy Slater capped off the night with a simple converted try in the 76th minute, blowing the score out to 32-6.

The Gold Coast Titans now meet the undefeated eels in Lismore next Saturday night. - Read More, Here