Titans Lead from Start to Finish to Claim Victory
Monday 12 August 2013 9:59 PM
The Titans have tonight led from start to finish, defeating the Bulldogs 26-16 at ANZ Stadium.
It was four tries to three with the boot of Aiden Sezer bettering the margin in the end.
Coach Des Hasler was disappointed with many areas of the game.
“It was sloppy,” Hasler said. There were four or five sets there that we didn’t get to the final tackle. We both had opportunities but they got the better of it in the end.”
There were 23 penalties blown in the match, an area that Hasler was concerned about.
“It’s tough, I can’t really get a read on it. Each week there seems to be different things happening. I thin kyou need to go and ask the referees boss,” Hasler told the media.
Hasler maintained the same 17-man side that was selected early in the week but made two positional changes with Josh Jackson and Sam Kasiano being promoted to the starting side and Tony Williams and James graham moving back to the interchange bench.
The first penalty went to the Bulldogs but off the back of that set the Titans earned their first penalty and turned it into points at the other end of the field. Starting their set from just shy of half-way and as they worked through the five tackles it was former Bulldog Aiden Sezer who put up a mid-field bomb and as it came down on the goal-line winger Kevin Gordon climbed above the pack and plucked it out of the air before putting it down for the opening four-pointer of the match. Sezer couldn’t convert with the Titans lead 4-nil after six minutes of play.
Off the back of the Titans fourth penalty they were able to score their second of the night through Gordon. It was a movement to the left that saw fullback David Mead receive the ball out the back which forced a defensive error from centre Krisnan Inu. With Mead streaking through it forced Sam Perrett to wedge in and that opened it up for Mead to pass it out to Gordon who went over in the south-east corner. Sezer converted from the sideline to extend the Titans lead out to 10-nil after 21 minutes.
Five minutes later the Bulldogs earned their fourth penalty of the night they too were able to turn it into points. It was a penalty to James Graham after the Englishman was brought down on his head 30m out from the Titans line. After the early tackles were taken up the middle the Bulldogs used their stock play with Josh Reynolds receiving it out the back and getting it to Josh Morris who crept through and managed to get the ball away to Perrett who crossed for his 13th try of the year. In tough conditions, Hodkinson converted from the sideline and closed the gap to 10-6.
In a match that already had 15 penalties, it was the Titans who earned the 16th and elected to take the shot at goal and Sezer had no problems converting to give the Titans a 12-6 lead at the half-time break.
The opening of the second half saw back rower Tony Williams claim a try but after it was sent up to the video referee and judged to have been progressed forward and the for Sea-Eagle was penalised for a double-movement.
Just moments later the Bulldogs earned a repeat set after a Hodkinson kick was put through and fittingly the halfback then went over for the Bulldogs second try of the night. It was a set that saw the Bulldogs work it round but the Cabramatta junior chose to run it on the fifth and burrowed his way under Mead and then Luke Douglas to score. Inu took over the kicking duties and hit the upright with his attempt, leaving the score at 18-10 after 48 minutes.
Eight minutes later the Titans were able to extend their lead through fullback Mead. Off the back of an Inu error and then earning a repeat set after Morris was forced to push it dead the visitors turned on a great play to score their third of the night. It was Ashley Harrison who passed it on to Luke O’Dwyer but he showed great hands to change the angle and find a flying Mead on his inside who went through to score. Sezer converted to take the lead out beyond a converted try, 18-10.
There was a controversial call not long after with Reynolds claiming a try but it was called back for a knock-on by Josh Jackson. On the replay it looked as though Titans centre Jamie Dowling had knocked got the touch to the ball but the video referee couldn’t see enough evidence to overturn the call.
The home side needed to score next and that they did with Reynolds this time being awarded a four-pointer. A break was made by Inu down the right and when eventually about to be brought down by the defence he flicked the ball off to Reynolds who showed too much pace weaving in and out before going over to score under the uprights. Hodkinson quickly converted to close the gap to just two points, 18-16.
With the match in the balance it was International Greg Bird who had a moment of brilliance off-loading the ball and seeing his winger, Gordon cross for his third try of the night and virtually secure victory for the visitors. Sezer put it beyond doubt with the conversion, 26-16.
The win puts the Titans into the top eight whilst the Bulldogs top four aspirations may have been dashed with the side now five points fourth place.
Titans 26 (Gordon 3, Mead Tries; Mead 5 Goals) def. Bulldogs 16 (Perrett, Hodkinson, Reynolds Tries; Hodkinson 2 Goals)
At: ANZ Stadium