In what was potentially one of the sloppiest games we’ve played all year, the Panthers have gone down to the Gold Coast 32-6 at Cbus Stadium this afternoon.
The mistakes came thick and fast from the kick off and had our defence not been so good, the end result could have been a lot worse. We were erratic with the ball and we lacked discipline across the park. The only consolation was the Titans made just as many mistakes as we did.
The first few minutes of the match were nail-biting for both sides, who struggled to find their feet and get any momentum going whatsoever.
But some quick thinking from Dallin Watene-Zelezniak would eventually lead to our first try of the day! He chased a Matt Moylan grubber kick towards the in-goal and managed to bat it back into play just before it went dead, forcing the Titans to play at it and take a goal line dropout.
During our next set, Api Koroisau passed the ball to Moylan who drew a Gold Coast defender in before sliding the ball across to Waqa Blake who found a big hole and ran 5m to get the ball over the line. Moyza converted to give us a 6-0 lead.
We almost had another try a few minutes later when James Segeyaro broke through the Gold Coast’s back line and took off down the field, sprinting 30m before offloading to Koroisau who was brought down 25m out. But a couple of ball fumbles stalled our momentum and we couldn’t finish the set.
The home side put their first points on the board in the 17th minute after the Panthers coughed up the ball on our third tackle and handed them possession from 30m out. After running it up the field, Kane Elgey put a grubber kick in and William Zillman beat a couple of Penrith players to get the ball down for a try. The kick was waved away, so the score went to 6-4.
They had their second try 10 minutes later after a very quick set of passes that caught Penrith completely off guard and left them scrambling to get back to their marks. Kierran Moseley collected the ball from dummy half and sent it left where it passed through the hands of half a dozen players before Josh Hoffman found some open space and dived over to score. With the conversion, the home side took the lead 10-6.
The rest of the half was ridiculously messy with mistake after mistake from both teams. Thankfully, Penrith’s defence was good enough to stop the Gold Coast scoring any more points before the break.
HALF TIME: 10-6 TITANS
At the half time break we lost Josh Mansour and Brent Kite to injury which meant we were down to two players on our interchange bench.
In the 47th minute Penrith came agonisingly close to scoring again when Waqa Blake leapt into the air to collect a Moylan chip kick, and even though he batted the ball down into the arms of Isaah Yeo who ran over to score, the on-field ref ruled a no try, claiming the ball had gone forward. The video ref didn’t have enough evidence to overturn it, so it was a handover.
In the 60th minute Isaah Yeo was sin binned for being too slow to release in a tackle meaning the Panthers were down to 12 men. The Gold Coast took the penalty kick from in front, extending their lead to 12-6.
In the 65th minute the Titans were again awarded a penalty after a Panthers defender kept their hand on the ball in a tackle. The penalty kick from in 20m out took the score to 14-6.
The home side made the most of their possession with the next set and after stretching the depleted Penrith side out to the wings, Aidan Sezer put a high bomb up where Ryan James collected it before passing it to former Panther James Roberts, who dived over right next to the corner post. The kick sailed straight through the uprights, putting the Titans out in front 20-6 with 10 minutes left to play.
With 5 minutes on the clock the Gold Coast scored another try after Sezer put a long grubber kick into the in-goal and Hoffman ran onto it, getting his hand to it to plant it down before the Panthers could get rid of it. The kick added the extra two, taking the score to 26-6.
And putting the icing on the cake was a last minute try to Zillman, who intercepted a Panthers pass and sprinted 80m down the field to score unopposed. Despite questions about a potential knock on at the intercept, the ref awarded the try, and with Greg Bird’s conversion in his 100th game for the Titans, the match finished at 32-6.
FULL TIME: 32-6 TITANS