Melbourne Storm's Thunderbolts have succumbed to the Gold Coast Titans 22-50 at AAMI Park in Round 5.
Coming off a strong win against the Bulldogs in Sydney, Matt Adamson’s men displayed a polished and well-rounded performance but couldn’t crack the Titans defence. Gold Coast were hoping to sure up its defence after squandering a first half lead, eventually going down by two points to North Queensland in last weeks U20 clash.
Storm started the match strongly with livewire, Ruebenn Rennie, scoring two tries in quick succession to give the home team an early 10-point lead.
The Titans outfit battled hard to get the ball out of defence to mount some pressure on Storm.
In the 13th minute, Storm winger Joshua Cullen-Minhinnick, intercepted a wayward pass from the Titans and was able to break through the defence from his own 10 meter line to make it across for an unbelievable try.
The Titan’s managed to steady and fight off a resilient Storm outfit and get on the scoreboard through playmaker, Deacon Fletcher, who was able to make it over the line and score the first try for the visitors.
It didn’t take long for the Titans' confidence to grow with number 6, Christian Hazzard darting between the Storm defence twice shortly after to put the Titans ahead by two before half time.
From the restart, a resurgent Titans lineup again made it to the try line with Jahrome Hughes collecting a neat kick through a sea of storm players to put his team ahead 24-16.
In the 47th minute, Storm forward Nelson Asofa-Solomona charged the Titans defence and muscled his way over the line, closing the margin back to two points.
In what was almost a mirror image of the Storm intercept in the first half, Zac Spring, capitalised on some sloppy Storm passing and almost making the distance before being tackled 20 meters from the try line.
Titans scrum half Kane Elgey was able to stretch the margin to 14 points after managing to get on the score sheet after a lapse in concentration from the Strom defence.
The match was rounded out with the Titans scoring three tries, with dynamic winger Zac Spring capping off a hat-trick of tries in well-constructed plays helping his side to a 50-22 victory.