U20s get up in thriller

U20s get up in thriller
Competition – NYC Premiership
Round – Round 02
Teams – Melbourne Storm v Gold Coast Titans
Date – 12th March 2016
Venue – Langlands Park, Brisbane, QLD
Photographer – Charles Knight
Description –

Our Gold Training under-20s have gained their first victory of the season in a high-scoring cliff-hanger against Melbourne Storm at Suzuki Stadium in Brisbane.

The young Titans were behind 42-34 with just five minutes remaining but scored two tries to pull off an amazing 44-42 victory in one of the highest scoring games in the club’s under-20s history.

Big prop Kurt Bernard, all 120kg of him, crashed over with four minutes remaining and Tyronne Roberts-Davis converted to snatch the win.

However, the Titans still had claw their way to safety after the Storm received a penalty inside the last minute. Their halfback Brodie Croft dummied and broke clear but a great covering tackle by skipper Jed Cartwright, with assistance from Bernard, saved the match.

“Both sides were hard to contain with the ball and got a run of momentum at different stages but we were fortunate to come home over the top of them,” said a relieved coach Ben Woolf.

“We dominated early but a few errors came into our game and the Storm got a real roll on and were hard to stop through the middle; they rolled down the field with their big men really well.

“But our boys showed a lot of character considering a lot of them had only played one NYC game before this.”

Centre Greg Leleisiuao, who missed the opening round clash against Newcastle, was hard to handle every time he touched the ball, Bernard carried the ball strongly against his former side, second-rower Morgan Boyle was tireless and played big minutes, five-eighth Josh Rogers was again very purposeful and lock Sam Swift had some good touches.

The Titans led 10-0 after just seven minutes through tries to Brayden McGrady who also had a fine game, and forward Simione Fatafahi, to open up a 10-0 lead.

Three tries in six minutes saw Melbourne lead 16-10 before McGrady was in for his second after Leleisiuao beat his man one on one down the short side and gave McGrady a clear run to the line. That levelled the scores and meant there has been 32 points scored in the first 20 minutes.

Melbourne led 28-22 at the break and were in for a converted try just two minutes into the second half to lead 34-22. Brian Kelly brought it back when he was put into space by Swift, but the Storm yet again retaliated quickly to lead 40-28 with still 24 minutes remaining.

Swift this time scored himself to bring the Titans within six points but the Storm took a penalty goal to lead by eight at 42-34 with just 10 minutes remaining.

But Kelly was too strong from close range after doubling back to pick up a loose ball, and then Bernard sprung into the action.

After rolling down the field with a powerful run earlier in the tackle count, he called the ball again from 10 metres and there was little chance of the defence stopping him when he wound up from that range.

Roberts-Davis has a relatively easy kick to put the Titans in front with three minutes remaining and was on target.

Titans 44 (McGrady 2, Kelly 2, Fatefahi, King, Swift, Bernard tries; McGrady 3, Roberts-Davis 3 goals) d. Melbourne Storm 42.


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