A chaotic try to Gold Coast’s AJ Brimson has got the Titans out of jail with an 8-6 NRL win over the hapless Wests Tigers at CBUS Super Stadium.
Trailing 6-2 and with the match seemingly set to be the first try-less first grade rugby league match in 29 years, Brimson’s effort with one minute to play snatched the victory for the hosts.
The winning play on Thursday was fitting for a largely forgettable match that was low on quality and high on errors.
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A chip kick by Titans halfback Toby Sexton hit the upright and bounced inside the penalty area where it was fielded by Jock Madden.
But the Tigers five-eighth lost possession after being hit by a Titans player, Brimson pouncing on the loose ball to ground it with one hand and steal the win.
The loss was devastating for the winless Tigers and under-fire coach Michael Maguire, after they held a four-point advantage through a trio of Luke Brooks penalties.
“It can be a cruel game,” Maguire said.
“I’m actually really proud of the players … how they continually stay at it and work.
“They’re very rock solid.
“There’s a lot of hurt in the change room at the moment. Seventy-nine minutes, whatever it was, and we had it there, but it’s a tough one.”
Neither team shone in a scrappy first half that was highlighted by ex-Tiger Corey Thompson spilling the ball with the line at his mercy in the 19th minute.
Titans captain Tino Fa’asuamaleaui was placed on report for a lifting tackle on James Tamou in the 14th minute while Tiger Alex Twal also got placed on report for a crusher on Sexton which led to the first score of the game in the 37th minute.
The visitors also had Jacob Liddle go for a HIA after a clash of heads with Moeaki Fotuaika left the Tigers’ hooker bleeding from his nose but the No.9 was cleared to return.
Defeat leaves the Tigers rooted to the bottom of the ladder with no wins from four matches while Gold Coast are now 2-2.
Titans coach Justin Holbrook said simply getting the two points after a week which was disrupted by COVID-19 withdrawals from his squad and the team’s training facilities on the Gold Coast flooding during heavy rainfall made him immensely proud.
“They just got on with it and at no stage did the players care about the week’s preparation,” Holbrook said.
“We were that confident and prepared to play tonight.
“Obviously, a scrappy game all round, but you can only play to the conditions and we come up with a win, that’s the main thing.”
The Titans host Parramatta next weekend while the Tigers travel to PointsBet Stadium to play Cronulla in their next fixture.
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