Jamayne Isaako’s golden-point try against St George Illawarra has been hailed as a potential turning point in Gold Coast’s NRL season by Titans coach Justin Holbrook.
The Titans snapped a five-game losing run with the thrilling 20-16 Magic Round triumph on Saturday night at Suncorp Stadium, Isaako sliding into the corner in the last minute of the second period of golden point to snatch the victory.
After an agonising wait to have Isaako’s try confirmed by the bunker, the Titans’ players celebrated like they’d won the grand final after it was given the green light.
“Well right now, everything,” Holbrook said when asked what the win could mean for his team.
“We all know we were coming off five losses and I thought the game in tough conditions was really good.
“To get the try at the end in golden point was brilliant and exactly what we needed.”
Gold Coast would have been disappointed to have only held a 10-4 lead at halftime after dominating the first 20 minutes of the match.
AJ Brimson scored the opener for the Titans but despite a period where they forced five straight line dropouts and Dragons’ enforcer Josh McGuire was sent to the sin bin, the Dragons levelled when Mathew Feagai scored while the Red V were still down a player.
Beau Fermor’s smart putdown from a Toby Sexton grubber had the Titans back ahead but their lead evaporated in the second half when Jack De Belin crashed over for his second try in as many weeks.
Zac Lomax then put the Dragons ahead with a penalty goal from the sideline after Phillip Sami was placed on report for a shoulder charge on Mikaele Ravalawa as the Dragons’ winger dived for the tryline.
Lomax was made to rue a costly missed conversion however after Moses Suli extended the Dragons’ lead in the 69th minute with Jarrod Wallace charging over four minutes later to send the game into golden point.
Both teams missed field goal attempts to win the match but when Dragons’ five-eighth Talatau Amone knocked on near the Dragons’ tryline attempting to gather a kick, it gave the Titans the field position to shift the ball wide for Isaako’s match-winner.
“It’s a hard one to swallow … there’s no question about our endeavour. We’ve just got to get better,” Dragons coach Anthony Griffin said.
“Once we got to six in front, we didn’t close the game out … they hurt but they’re part of growing as a team and making sure we learn from that.”
Gold Coast host Cronulla next weekend while the Dragons are back at home against the Warriors.