The NSW Blues have been named for the first game of the 2017 #Origin series.
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Despite a growing injury toll, the Gold Coast Titans have turned in a fantastic second half to outdo a surprisingly poor Parramatta outfit 26-14 in front of 11,612 fans at Cbus Super Stadium.
All was going to plan for the Eels early - tries to Clint Gutherson and Jeff Robson in the opening fifteen minutes put the competition leaders in front 12-0, but their efforts in crossing the line stopped there as the Titans arrested the visitors' scoring,
A few false starts finally gave way to the Titans' first points in the 27th minute when Chris McQueen crashed over from dummy half on the left side, before Tyler Cornish scored to help the home team draw level right on the break. The sides went into halftime at 12-all, and the Eels looked complacent and full of errors.
The Eels were keen to re-take the lead early in the second half, and were gifted a penalty in the 44th minute. Gutherson added to the tally to put the away side back in front, but that was as far as the Eels took the scoreboard, with Kane Elgey crossing in the 52nd minute, Ash Taylor's conversion handing the home side a lead of four points which Taylor then turned into six with a penalty goal.
Gold Coast then put the result beyond any doubt with a 72nd minute try to Tyrone Roberts who claimed a try off an aerial contest after Joe Greenwood knocked it back for him. Errors plagued the Eels all night and it was two key drop balls from Semi Radradra inside his own half which gifted the home team a saloon passage to victory.
There's likely to be a bit of controversy out of the wash-up from this game, with several Titans players subjected to Head Injury Assessments throughout the contest. They'll be hoping that's all cleared up ahead of their home game next Saturday against the Cowboys, while the Eels have plenty to consider (and will want Corey Norman back in the halves) before they host premiers Cronulla in their first home game the same evening.
Gold Coast Titans 26 - Parramatta Eels 14
Venue: Cbus Super Stadium
Halftime Score: Gold Coast Titans 12 Parramatta Eels 12
LeagueUnlimited.com Players of the Match:
3 points - Ryan James
2 points - Chris McQueen
1 points - Kane Elgey
GOLD COAST TITANS (26)
Tries: Chris McQueen, Tyler Cornish, Kane Elgey, Tyrone Roberts
Conversions: Ashley Taylor (4/4)
Penalty Goals: Ashley Taylor (1/1)
PARRAMATTA EELS (14)
Tries: Clint Gutherson, Jeff Robson
Conversions: Clint Gutherson (2/2)
Penalty Goals: Clint Gutherson (1/1)