The Thunderbolts snatched defeat from the jaws of victory on Saturday as they lost 44-42 to the Gold Coast Titans in a heart breaker.
With nine minutes to go Jesse Arthars slotted a penalty goal that gave them a 42-34 lead and should have sealed the victory. Unfortunately it was not to be, as Gold Coast crossed in the 75th and 78th minutes to steal the win.
The Thunderbolts had plenty of position and possession and would have expected to be able to grind out the win, especially with a late lead. However a second half peppered by poor ball control made that very hard.
The Titans opened the game with two tries in the first seven minutes to take the early 10-0 lead before the Thunderbolts fought back with tries to Cory Parker, Josh Kerr and Scott Drinkwater to lead 16-10. The Titans then levelled after a spectacular first 20 minutes of play had seen 32 points scored.
The scoring continued as the first half rolled on with Brodie Croft and prop Ben Nakubuwai scoring with Jesse Arthars converting to see them lead 28-22 at the break.
Jake Elmore scored two minutes into the second half and the Thunderbolts had extended their lead to 38-22 before the Titans found their feet again largely thanks to former Thunderbolt Kurt Bernard and the dangerous Brian Kelly.
Coach Eric Smith was pleased with the seven tries his team scored in attack however was bitterly disappointed with the defensive effort.
“The players and the staff are very disappointed in the sheds right now. We are better than that, we need to be able to defend better than that and we know we can.” Smith said.
“We were in a position to win that one, it was in our hands and we let it slip.”
Gold Coast Titans 44 (Brayden McGrady 2, Brian Kelly 2, Max King, Simione Fatafah, Sam Swift, Kurt Bernard tries; Brayden McGrady 3, Tyrone Roberts-Davis 3 goals)
Thunderbolts 42 (Cory Parker, Josh Kerr, Scott Drinkwater, Ben Nakubuwai, Brodie Croft, Jake Elmore, Nat McGavin tries; Jesse Arthars 8 goals).
1.Jesse Arthars 2. Louis Geraghty 3.Cory Parker 4. Joel Gittins 5. Nat McGavin 6. Scott Drinkwater 7. Brodie Croft 8. Josh Kerr 9. Jake Turpin 10. Ben Nakubuwai 11. Jaiyden Hunt 12. Jordan Ah-Ine-Remfrey 13. Jake Elmore 14. Ben Henderson 18. Lachlan Timm 21. Daymeric Pelo 17. Charlie Galo
U20 Gold Coast Titans
1.Brayden McGrady 2. Philip Sami 3.Greg Leleisiuao 4.Brian Kelly 5. Tyronne Roberts-Davis 6.Josh Rogers 19. Tye Barry 17. Simione Fatefahi 9. Jordan Scott 10.Nathan Watts 11. Morgan Boyle 12. Jed Cartwright 13. Sam Swift 8. Kurt Bernard 14. Ethan Roberts 15. Max King 16. Jerome Veve