Wests Tigers 6 Gold Coast Titans 22
Tangled up in blue: Titans players tackle Sitaleki Akauola at Leichhardt Oval on Sunday. Photo: Getty Images
At the same ground and in almost identical conditions, the Gold Coast Titans did to the Wests Tigers what the Tigers did to Manly just three weeks ago.
In stark contrast to the blistering and explosive start the Tigers produced to shock competition heavyweights Manly at Leichhardt Oval in round five, the home side lacked the desire and fight to go with the Titans on Sunday afternoon.
Despite a mini resurgence to start the second half, the Tigers were a shadow of the football team that has rocketed into the top four after an eye-opening two months to start the season, going down 22-6.
|View Match Statistics|
|Players||Simona||Tries||1||Tries||3||Players||Sezer, Don, Bird|
|Players||Richards 1/1 (100%)||Conversions||1||Conversions||3||Players||Sezer 1/1 (100%), Bird 2/2 (100%)|
|Players||Penalty goals||0||Penalty goals||2||Players||Sezer 1/2 (50%), Bird 1/2 (50%)|
|Players||Field goals||0||Field goals||0||Players|
However, the win could come at a price for the Titans. Dynamic halfback Albert Kelly injured a leg in the first half and didn't return.
In front of 8929 at the iconic suburban ground, the Titans avenged the humiliating 42-12 loss on home soil at the hands of the Tigers back in round two with a victory that sees them leapfrog the Tigers to equal first with the Bulldogs and Sea Eagles.
With Robbie Farah and James Tedesco on the sidelines nursing injuries, the Tigers could ill-afford to lose another player, however centre Tim Simona could miss several matches for a lifting tackle on Aidan Sezer in the second half.
In a fiery clash that saw tempers flare and jerseys grabbed on several occasions, the Tigers were unable to control the ball and never really entered the contest.
It was Sezer who opened the account for the Titans, making up for an early penalty-goal miss to step his way through some soft defence to score under the posts.
Despite the wet conditions, the Titans weren't afraid to keep the ball alive and were making easy inroads through the Tigers’ defence.
Sezer was again gifted an opportunity to take the two points, this time making no mistake to give his side an 8-0 lead after 13 minutes.
The Titans lost Kelly mid-way in the second half through injury then lost co-captain Nate Myles when he was sin binned for a professional foul, holding back Marty Taupau from being able to link with a runaway Luke Brooks.
The Titans looked to have been caught short from the ensuing set when Tim Simona crashed over out wide, however the video referee intervened to rule that Bodene Thompson had obstructed Sezer.
With Sezer nursing an ankle injury, Greg Bird stepped up and took another two points on offer, before a Paul Carter charge down saw Anthony Don extend the visitors' lead to 16-0.
The second half began the way the first half ended, with a charge down leading to a try.
This time it was Bird who was collected from a Blake Austin kick, with the former Panther chasing through to toe poke it into the in-goal. Simona was finally rewarded with the try that was taken from him in the first half.
A pin-point accurate grubber from Sezer saw Bird win the race to the ball and slam it down to extend the lead back to 16 points in the 54th minute.
A high tackle from Keith Galloway gifted the Titans their fourth penalty-goal attempt goal of the afternoon, however Bird failed in his bid to extend the deficit to 18 points with 14 minutes remaining.
Carter was also placed on report for a swinging arm on David Nofoaluma in the final minutes.