Wests Tigers have gone down 28-23 in the final seconds to the Gold Coast Titans in a see-sawing contest tonight at Suncorp Stadium.
Despite dominating the early stages of both halves, Wests Tigers were unable to stamp their authority over the Titans — allowing the hosts back in to the contest on a number of occasions before seemingly taking control of the game with a Benji Marshall's field goal inside the final three minutes.
However, off the back of a short kickoff, the Titans would have one final chance to score and found their way over through Phillip Sami for the match-winning try.
The loss leaves Wests Tigers outside of the top eight with two wins and two losses heading in to next Saturday's clash with the Canberra Raiders at Campbelltown Sports Stadium.
It didn't take Michael Maguire's side long to get their first points of the night, with Marshall turning Adam Doueihi under for his first Wests Tigers try — the perfect end to a clever run around the ruck from hooker Harry Grant.
After a tough afternoon with the boot last week, Marshall would make no mistake from close range to give the visitors a 6-0 lead after eight minutes.
Nofoaluma intercepts a Taylor pass to score
Coming in to the match as the competition's leading try-scorer, David Nofoaluma would extend his strong form with his fifth try in 2020 — picking off an intercept from Titans halfback Ash Taylor to stroll away and score under the posts.
Much like their Round 3 clash against the Sharks, however, Wests Tigers' early lead would soon evaporate off the back of a 40/20 kick from Taylor. That field position for the Titans would pave the way for Kevin Proctor to crash over at close range, before Anthony Don marked his return from injury with a spectacular finish off a cross-field kick to level the scores with 15 minutes still to play in the half.
The home side would continue to grow in the contest, and came close to taking a late lead in to the half-time sheds but Taylor's field goal sailed just wide — leaving the two teams locked at 12-12 at the break.
Wests Tigers put in their entry for Try of the Year
Needing to start fast, it was Maguire's men who raced out of the blocks with an early contender for try of the season as a try to Joey Leilua passing through nine sets of hands before the bullocking centre eventually planted it down.
When Nofoaluma collected his second try of the night off a clever kick from Doueihi, Wests Tigers appeared destined to kick on with the contest as they'd threatened to do in the first half, but couldn't quite land the decisive blow.
The Titans would continue to claw their way back in the contest, and again reduced it to a four-point game when Keegan Hipgrave took advantage of some space in the defensive line to score. Taylor's third successful conversion of the night reduced the score to 22-18 with 20 minutes remaining in the contest.
The hosts would go within a fingernail of levelling the scores again when Don was adjudged to have knocked on in the in-goal, but they wouldn't have to wait long with Taylor combining with Brian Kelly to put the winger over out wide.
The halfback's sideline conversion would sail just wide, however, leaving the teams locked at 22-22 with just over eight minutes remaining.
Having defended their line under pressure, Maguire's men would methodically work the ball down field and re-take the lead as Marshall slotted the 16th field goal of his career to give the hosts a one-point lead before Sami's try would snatch victory at the death for the Titans.
Gold Coast Titans 28 (Proctor, Don, Hipgrave, Kelly, Sami tries; Taylor 4/5 goals) def. Wests Tigers 23 (Nofoaluma 2, Doueihi J.Leilua tries; Marshall 3/4 goals; Marshall 1/1 field goals) at Suncorp Stadium
Match: Titans v Wests Tigers
Round 4 -
Venue: Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane