An early try from Gold Coast’s Dale Copley was crucial in the Titans’ win over Brisbane.A Phillip Sami hat-trick and some inspired Gold Coast defence have helped the Titans snap their horror run against big brother Brisbane in a 26-14 win at Suncorp Stadium.
The upset on Sunday night stopped a run of seven straight Broncos wins over the Titans and 11 at Suncorp Stadium, with the Gold Coast’s last victory at the venue in 2007.
The Titans’ right edge was shamelessly exposed by St George-Illawarra in a nine-try 54-8 romp last Sunday, with coach Garth Brennan calling for more trust in their defensive line.
And they responded, with the Titans making a defensive statement and running riot down the left against the flat-looking Broncos.
“It hurt them last week; the result hurts the players as much as anyone and they were feeling it, it’s been a long week,” Brennan said.
“We’ve come tonight with a purpose to, not prove anyone wrong, but prove it to themselves.”
Kane Elgey created the first points in just the second minute when his cut-out pass found 20-year-old left winger Sami.
Ashley Taylor’s flat pass then put Dale Copley through before the Broncos finally responded thanks to an Andrew McCullough dummy following a mountain of possession.
The Titans’ forwards combined for the visitors’ third try after having one disallowed, with Ryan James’ pin-point grubber finding Sami all alone for his second.
Soon after Sami picked up a cross-field bomb and put in a kick of his own to fellow winger Anthony Don, who leapt high above the pack and landed with the ball for a 20-8 lead.
Sami continued his dream night with a third try following a raft of Broncos mistakes to seal the result.
Kodi Nikorima punctuated an otherwise quiet night from the Brisbane halves when he darted through a hole for a late consolation try as the Titans improved to 2-2.
“We were out-everything,” Brisbane coach Wayne Bennett said when asked if his side was out-enthused.
“But we can’t attack unless we hold the football.
“It’s a collective problem … that stuff’s killing us.”
Brennan dropped former Penrith duo Bryce Cartwright to the bench and Leilani Latu altogether this week, with captain James’ 135 metres and 36 tackles coinciding with a much stiffer presence in the middle.
High-profile recruit Cartwright was only used for one set at the end of the first half, with Brennan opting not to re-introduce him late in the game with the Titans on the defensive.