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Brave Titans down Panthers

Brave Titans down Panthers

Sun June 17, 2012 6:11pm

HARD-hit by injury, Gold Coast posted a courageous 36-18 NRL victory over an inept Penrith at Skilled Park on Sunday.

The Titans lost centre Beau Champion (ankle) and pint-sized hooker Matt Srama (shoulder) to injuries in the first half while NSW State of Origin back-rower Greg Bird left the field in the 45th minute with an arm injury.

Srama later returned and was involved in a 68th minute try to utility Luke O'Dwyer as the Titans recorded their fourth win from their past five matches.

Panthers fullback Lachlan Coote, who was named to play for Windsor Wolves in the NSW Cup this week, had a day he would rather forget in a match played in ideal conditions in front of 11,591 fans.

Coote threw an intercept pass that led to a David Mead try and fumbled a pass that resulted in the four-pointer to centre Steve Michaels that gave the hosts an 18-0 lead at halftime.

Coote was also brushed aside attempting to tackle try-bound forward Brenton Lawrence in the 49th minute as the depleted Titans all but wrapped up the two points after racing to a 30-0 lead.

This season, the Panthers have struggled to convert prime field position into points and it was a familiar story against the Titans.

Ivan Cleary's men continually butchered their opportunities through sloppy passes or poor execution.

Recalled centre Michael Jennings, playing his first NRL match in four weeks after being banished to the NSW Cup, should have scored in the 15th minute when he scooped on a loose ball with no one in front of him 70m out from the tryline.

But surprisingly, the NSW Origin centre was easily run down by winger Kevin Gordon and the Penrith raid was snuffed out by some desperate defence.

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