On Sunday evening, the Gold Coast Titans launched their 2023 NRL campaign with a surprising 22-10 win over the Wests Tigers, holding off a late comeback from the hosts at Leichhardt Oval.
Despite falling behind by two points early on, the Titans scored three tries to lead 18-2 by the 42nd minute, while the Tigers struggled with a completion rate below 65%.
Although tries from Adam Doueihi and Daine Laurie boosted the Tigers in the final 15 minutes, errors and poor goal-kicking thwarted any hopes of a late turnaround. A crafty scrum play from Jayden Campbell set up AJ Brimson’s try to seal the victory for the Titans, with coach Justin Holbrook looking calm throughout, despite facing a weight of possession against his team.
Wests Tigers coach Tim Sheens, returning to the club for his first game in charge since 2012, opted to start new skipper Api Koroisau off the bench, which backfired as the Titans scored twice before he entered the field. Kieran Foran and David Fifita combined well on the left edge to help Phil Sami score the Titans’ first try.
Sami crossed the try-line again ten minutes later after a David Nofoaluma error provided space for Brimson to execute a grubber kick that Sami converted into a try. Sam McIntyre, a former Wests Tigers forward, overcame an early error to score and extend the visitors’ lead.
Doueihi’s try briefly ignited the home crowd, but Foran’s knee injury and Campbell’s subsequent entry into the game helped relieve the pressure, and the Titans secured a win ahead of their Round 2 clash against the Dragons.