The Gold Coast Titans hopes of making the top eight have taken a major blow after going down to Parramatta by 18 points.
The Eels came out firing in the first half of their clash at the Titans home ground overnight, going into the sheds 20-0 after the first 40 minutes.
Three of those tries were scored while the Titans were down to just 12 men after Kevin Proctor was put in the bin for a dangerous tackle on Isaiah Papali’i.
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Despite staging a second-half comeback, it was too little too late for the Titans, who went down 26-8.
To add to the loss, winger Phillip Sami went down with an ankle injury, while captain Jamal Fogarty suffered a serious hand injury which could see him sidelined for a few weeks.
Ash Taylor was also forced from the field in the final 10 minutes for a HIA.
Coach Justin Holbrook said it was a disappointing night all round for his men.
“We just looked flat early on.. It would of been nice for Corey to get the early try and then once KP went to the sin bin we didn’t touch the ball and then couldn’t stop their momentum.
“They’re a good side at that, they just got that run of the game and got out to a big lead.
“If we played the first half with the same intent as the second, we might have had some opportunities.
“We needed to take those opportunities against Parramatta, but once we didn’t, and it was 20-nil, it was always going to be a tough ask in the second half”.
Holbrook said it was a tough loss after smashing the Raiders 44-6 before last round’s bye.
“Got comfortable within ourselves thinking we were going to play like that every week and forgot to start the game,” he said.
“The way we started, we tried to start it the way it ended the game before and it doesn’t happen that way… so it was a good lesson for us.”
Holbrook said he still believes his side can feature in the finals but admits they’ll have to put in a lot of hard work.
“We all know we have to play a lot better than what we did tonight to give ourselves a chance at that, but look I’m confident we’ve got it in us, we just have to get it right from now on”.