Titans win in a nail-biter despite Manly’s fightback

Nate Myles

The Titans may have won in a nail-biter, but it was a shoulder charge from Manly forward Richie Fa’aoso that had everyone talking, as it left Gold Coast Titans lock Ashley Harrison dazed, confused and concussed.

The incident, which occurred in the 36th minute, saw Fa’aoso put on report but he did apologise to Harrison post game, as the two go way back to their early days in Brisbane.

“Richie came into the dressing room to see how I was and to apologise – it was nice of him,” said Harrison.

“I’ve known him since we were kids. He’s a Brisbane boy – we grew up playing for the same junior club.”

It was only a late penalty goal to Aidan Sezer following an error from Daly Cherry-Evans, one that saw him kick the goal-line drop-out out on the full, that won the game for the Titans – as they took the game 16-14.

“I thought we had the money,” bemoaned Manly coach Geoff Toovey after the loss.

Despite the shoulder charge on Harrison by Fa’aoso, Toovey had no problems with what he saw from the footage.

“I saw it on the replay …. I’ve got no problem with what I saw,” said Toovey.

Titans coach John Cartwright raised an interesting idea at the post-match press conference, suggesting that an 18th man enter the game when a player is forced to leave the field in the manner that Harrison did.

“It’s tough to lose a player like that and be down to three interchanges in such gruelling conditions on such a hot night,” he said.

“Losing an interchange player under those circumstances really hurts.”

It does not get better for the Titans, with a potential injury to centre Brad Takairangi also.

Even the tireless and workhorse back-rower for the Titans Greg Bird was left exhausted, admitting that he was playing five-eighth at one stage in the game.

“We had back-rowers in the centres, halfbacks playing fullback and I was playing five-eighth. We were just holding on.”

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