Titans close in on top eight NRL berth

Gold Coast could find themselves in the NRL top eight by the end of the weekend and their 36-16 win over the Sydney Roosters on Friday night suggests they won’t be making up the numbers if they do qualify for the finals.

Under plenty of pressure and down 10-0 early in the match against a Roosters team with nothing to lose, the Titans hung tough in defence before showcasing their ability with the ball – bagging four consecutive tries either side of halftime and winning the final 50 minutes 36-6.

Roosters forward Mitchell Aubusson scored in the 61st minute to cut the margin to six, but an all-too common moment of ill-discipline from fiery prop Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, when he gave referee Phil Haines a spray, allowed Titans skipper Scott Prince to kick the visitors away by eight with a penalty 13 minutes from fulltime.

When William Zillman completed a double and Matt Srama dived over in the final minutes, it was officially curtains for the Roosters’ season.

The under-fire club had a crisis meeting during the week to air their grievances and it seemed to pay off early.

The home side threw caution to the wind and Tinirau Arona and Mitchell Pearce capitalised early for a 10-0 lead.

But a piece of David Mead brilliance in the 30th minute sparked a dramatic turnaround and the Titans rallied to take a 12-10 lead into the break.

They kicked on to keep their finals aspirations well and truly alive and importantly cut their points differential to minus 2.

Mead ran 80 metres from his own goal-line after leaping to take a bomb and from the subsequent play, Prince, who orchestrated the victory, darted through a gap to cut the margin to four.

Five minutes later giant centre Jamal Idris crashed over from short range, and, when Zillman and Beau Falloon consolidated the lead by crossing for the first tries of the second half, the Titans had the inconsistent Roosters at their mercy.

The Roosters repeatedly went for the short kick-off from restarts and chanced their hand but a third-straight loss is sure to propel rumours of player discontent.

Heading into the round, the Titans were one of five teams locked on 20 points, just one win behind the eighth-placed Wests Tigers.

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