The Gold Coast Titans have escaped with a confidence boosting and controversial 28-26 win over the Melbourne Storm on Sunday afternoon.
Greg Bird kicked a penalty goal after the siren to hand the Titans a controversial win over the Storm, which helped the Titans to the top of the NRL ladder. The penalty that led to the Titans winning penalty goal came from an apparent strip by Ryan Hinchcliffe which on replay showed that the ball had come free due to a loose carry. Craig Bellamy slammed the decision after the match stating it a ''disgraceful decision''. The loss was Melbourne's first at home this season.
The Storm and Titans traded tries in an entertaining first half in the Melbourne sunshine. The Storm's two first half tries were carbon copies of each other with Cooper Cronk placing perfectly weighted kicks to winger Sisa Waqa who both times finished expertly in the corner. Kevin Gordon replied for the Titans for a try in the corner of his own. The Titans were in again when Gordon snatched a mid-field ball from Billy Slater and Brad Tighe scored in the same place Gordon had just moments earlier. The Titans went back into the lead when some ad-lib footy resulted in Anthony Don kicking cross-field for David Mead to catch spectacularly to scoot away to score under the posts.
The Storm were needing a reply, and got one in the second half when Cameron Smith broke the line and found his halfback in Cronk, who in turn offloaded to Kenny Bromwich who ran away to score under the posts. Titans replied quickly when Mark Minichiello ran through the Storm line and charged over Billy Slater for a momentum-swinging try. But the Storm would respond in earnest when a beautiful wrap around move culminated in a try for Will Chambers.
With the scores locked at 26-all the game looked destined for extra time when the Titans were gifted a penalty with just 30 seconds on the clock. Greg Bird slotted the goal to give the Titans a great away win, and take them to the summit of the NRL ladder ahead of their home local derby with Brisbane next Friday, while the Storm will look to find some answers for their next game, Monday week against the Dragons back here at AAMI Park.