Wests Tigers NYC Holden Cup side have gone to 30-18 to the Gold Coast Titans in their Round 3 clash at Cbus Super Stadium on Saturday evening.
Trailing 16-6 at the second half, Wests Tigers showed great determination to fight back and lead the home side with 20 minutes remaining, but were unable to close out the match as the Titans stormed home to eventually emerge with a 12-point victory.
Wests Tigers started the match in ideal fashion with a good short ball from Veiru Mapesone allowing Jesse Jackson to crash over out wide after just four minutes.
Having landed all six of his conversions in windy conditions at Leichhardt Oval last week, Mapesone again added the extras from out wide to extend the lead to 6-0.
Gold Coast quickly hit back through an error in the middle of the field, with Nathan Watts racing through to score. Tyronne Roberts-Davis added the extras from next to the posts to level the score at 6-6 after just eight minutes of play at Cbus Super Stadium.
Brian Kelly put the hosts in front in the 21st minute when he reacted quickest to dive on a loose ball in the in-goal, with Roberts-Davis’ conversion taking the score to 12-6.
Both teams suffered injury blows before the break, with Jed Cartwright and Jaleel Seve forced off the field. Wests Tigers would have several chances late in the half to level the match, but were unable to crack the Titans line and went into half-time trailing 12-6.
The Titans extended their lead after the break when Morgan Boyle crashed over after 45 minutes. Roberts-Davis was unable to convert, however, leaving the score 16-6.
Wests Tigers quickly hit back through Jackson again after 51 minutes of play, with fullback Luke Sharpe holding the ball up for the centre to crash over out wide.
Mapesone again nailed the conversion from the sideline to cut the Titans’ lead to 16-12.
The wiry playmaker would continue to leave his mark on the game, putting Wests Tigers in front after 56 minutes with a great dummy close to the line allowing him to dive over.
His conversion gave Wests Tigers the lead once again, up 18-16.
The home side wouldn’t go away, with quick tries to Boyle and Brayden McGrady allowing the home side to restore their six-point lead with 10 minutes remaining.
Wests Tigers would try to level the match in the final minutes, but a try against the run of play for Watts after a good ball from Sam Swift ensured the home side would take the two points, with Roberts-Davis’ conversion leaving the full-time score at 30-18.
FULL TIME — Gold Coast Titans 30 (Boyle 2, Watts 2, Kelly, McGrady tries; Roberts-Davis 3/6 goals) def. Wests Tigers 18 (Jackson 2, Mapesone tries; Mapesone 3/3 goals)