Bird the hero in a golden-point thriller

The Titans were desperate for a win, and they got it, with a golden point victory over the Canberra Raiders – winning 23-22 courtesy of a Greg Bird field goal.

After losing their first three games, rather unexpectedly, the Titans came out a much more composed side, but the Raiders gave them a run for their money.

The match was seemingly over for the Titans as they approached the end of the game, trailing 22-16 with just 40 seconds to go in the game, before some errors from the Raiders, let the Titans score a converted try to level the scores.

It was a Matt Orford area from the scrum base that resulted in a try to Titans second-rower Anthony Laffranchi, that ultimately, sent the game to golden point.

It was another error in extra time, this time from Blake Ferguson, that awarded the Titans with the field position to kick a field goal, and Bird took the opportunity with open arms.

For Titans coach John Cartwright, he felt that the Titans deserved the win, making it their first of the year.

“They’ve been putting in for the last four weeks, just haven’t been getting the odd bounce of the ball. We got one tonight,” he told reporters.

“It was a great reward for a lot of effort.”

He also dismissed claims that the Titans successive run of three losses would mean that they would not be a competitive side in 2011.

“It’s ridiculous to say someone’s season is over after just three games,” he said.

“It obviously shows that they have no idea what they’re talking about.”

With the Titans ecstatic about the win, the Raiders were left to rue their sloppy ball-control, poor defensive effort, and a very poor kicking game from halfback Matt Orford, who has lost all three games he has been in with the Raiders.

What made the Titans win even more memorable, was that Titans halfback Scott Prince was ruled out of the game before kick-off, which made their task that much harder.

The Raiders suffered a huge blow however, with fullback Josh Dugan going off in the 25th minute, after appearing to re-aggravate the calf injury that kept him out for the first few weeks of the season.

For Raiders coach David Furner, he acknowledges that his side just had no response to the Titans attitude, while co-captain, David Shillington knows that errors at the wrong time, cost the Raiders the match.

“We just gave them too many opportunities and they took it in the end. A little bit of luck involved for them,” Shillington said after the match.

The Titans also lost Preston Campbell to injury, which is another big blow for the club.

Dally M Points

3 Greg Bird

2 Anthony Laffranchi

1 Joel Thompson

GOLD COAST 23 (G Bird A Laffranchi B Meyers B Thompson tries P Campbell 2 G Bird goals G Bird field goal) CANBERRA 22 (J Croker J Thompson D Tilse D Vidot tries J Croker 3 goals) in golden-point extra time at Canberra Stadium. Referees: Matt Cecchin, Steve Lyons. Crowd: 12,165.

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