Brisbane have moved to the top of the NRL ladder with a narrow Queensland derby win over Gold Coast.
The Broncos held on against a fast-finishing Titans to claim a 24-16 victory in front of 21,080 fans at Robina.
It’s the Broncos’ fourth win from five starts this year and puts them on top of the ladder although Canterbury, Melbourne and Parramatta all have the chance to join them on eight points this round.
Ahead 10-4 at halftime, the Broncos dominated territory in the second half with Jordan Kahu and Kodi Nikorima crossing for tries to extend that lead to 22-4.
But a Zeb Taia try double set up a grandstand finish with 10 minutes to go as the Broncos’ lead was cut to six points.
Former Titan James Roberts, who had appeared to be struggling with a hip injury for most of the evening, ended his old club’s fightback by securing a penalty which Kahu kicked to seal the win.
The Titans’ fast finish was in stark contrast to the start of their evening.
Prop David Shillington succumbed to a hip injury in the warm-up and then Roberts, Gold Coast’s enemy No.1 in the build-up to the game, ghosted past John Olive to open the scoring inside four minutes.
Roberts nearly turned provider a few minutes later when he steamed into a gap but Anthony Milford couldn’t hold his inside ball and a chance went begging.
The Broncos did extend their lead in the 24th minute when Ben Hunt dummied his way through on a fifth-tackle play for his third try in his past five games against the Titans.
Gold Coast rallied with David Mead, who had earlier made a great try-saving tackle on Corey Oates, capping a fine individual half when he got on the end of an Ash Taylor grubber.