Two sides who find themselves at the wrong end of the table had a desperate battle for a crucial two points as the Brisbane Broncos faced the Gold Coast Titans. Both sides have had a nightmare since the restart with the Broncos unable to register a win since March and the Titans with just a single win to their name, over the Wests Tigers, in round four.
The bookies had the home side as strong favourites to pick up the points as both sides made a number of changes to the line-ups that suffered defeats last season.
The Broncos brought in Rhys Kennedy, Tesi Niu and Tom Dearden with the Titans naming Dale Copley, Jarrod Wallace and Mitch Rein in their seventeen.
Gold Coast took seven minutes to grab their first try of the game and silence a vociferous 10,000 Brisbane fans in the Stadium as Ash Taylor pushed his way over on his back and grounded the ball above his head. Taylor attempted the conversion but pushed it wide of the far upright.
Anthony Don took advantage of a slice of luck on twenty when he appeared to benefit from a forward tipped pass as he went over in the corner. Taylor put his conversion between the uprights for a 10-0 lead.
On twenty-nine a high kick from Taylor was lost by Tesi Niu as he tried to take the catch under pressure. Tyrone Peachey picked up the loose ball and flicked the inside pass to Samuel Lisone who burrowed under the tacklers to score under the uprights, the two substitutes combining for the third try. Taylor added a simple goal for a 16-0 lead.
On thirty-seven the Titans got their first slice of bad luck when Moeaki Fotuaika was sin-binned for a professional foul after he held down too long ten out from the Titans line. But the twelve men grabbed a fourth try on the hooter with a Don intercept on his own forty to go sixty metres to score. Taylor added the conversion for an astonishing 22-0 half time score line.
Eight minutes after the restart Ben Te’o hit the line after taking a short ball and used his bulk to push down on the line to get the Broncos first points of the game. Herbie Farnworth added the conversion, but the Broncos were far from back in the game.
A Taylor penalty goal on fifty-four extended the Titans lead to three converted tries at 24-6.
The Broncos second came on the back to two successive penalties as Farnworth took a Brodie Croft grubber kick on his knees and grounded. Farnworth added his second goal, the margin down to twelve with plenty of time left.
Another Taylor penalty on sixty-three edged the Titans closer to safety with a fourteen-point lead.
Corey Oates was sin-binned for backchat to the referee after he ruled against the Broncos. The Titans elected to run it and were rewarded when Phillip Sami stretched, full length, to score spectacularly in the corner. Taylor missed his kick but the game was beyond the Broncos at 30-12.
Few would have suspected that the Broncos would be put to the sword by the Titans in round seven as the unfancied side lift themselves off the bottom of the table and into thirteenth place on the ladder. Anthony Seabolds days must now be numbered as Broncos coach after a disasterous 2020 by their very high standards. The Titans will be relieved about their win and look to build on it next time out.
Brisbane Broncos: Niu, Oates (SB on 74), Farnworth (T, 2G), Boyd, Coates, Milford, Croft, Lodge, Luke, Haas, Glenn, Pangai Junior, Ofahengaua. Subs: Isaako, Kennedy, Te’o (T), Dearden.
Gold Coast Titans: Thompson, Don (2T), Kelly, Copley, Sami (T), Taylor (T, 5G), Fogarty, Fotuaika (SB on 37), Rein, Jolliffe, Proctor, Hipgrave, Arrow. Subs: Lisone (T), Boyd, Peachey, Wallace.
Referee: Peter Gough.
Ground: Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane.