Teen Titans sides pull up short
THE dream debut season of the Gold Coast Titans' junior representative sides came to an abrupt end in Sydney at the weekend, with both teams taking an early finals shower.
The Harold Matthews (under-16s) and SG Ball (under-18s) sides had impressed all year to finish fourth and fifth respectively at the close of their seasons, and several impressive victories had the Titans faithful hoping for the club's first grand final berth.
However aspirations were cut short with the 16s narrowly losing to Central Coast 36-30 and the 18s suffering a 40-12 drumming from Newcastle.
It was a sad end to an encouraging season for both sides, and yet another indication that the club's future is in good hands.
“Obviously we would like to be playing finals footy next week,” said Harold Matthews coach Aaron Zimmerle.
“But the experiences we have had this year means that all of us, players and coaching staff, will be taking our games to a higher level in the future, and that is what it's all about.”
The scores were level at 16-all come half-time in the 16s fixture and the Titans were well placed to fulfil their finals ambitions.
However, a three-try blitz by the Storm meant the score ballooned out to 32-16 within 10 minutes, ultimately spelling the end for the Titans boys.
“We were competing well until that passage of play, and although it is a credit to the boys that they fought their way back to 36-30, our lack of focus really cost us today,” Zimmerle said.
“Consistency is the key in any level of rugby league and our lapses in concentration meant that the game got away from us.”
Similarly the SG Ball side was in the hunt until halftime, trailing just 18-12.
Then, like the 16s before them, a concentration lapse after the break allowed the Knights to run in four unanswered tries and effectively seal the Titans' fate.
A handful of SG Ball players are now likely to step up and train with the NYC (under-20s) squad for the remainder of the year.