Gold Coast held on to beat a fast-finishing Brisbane 16-14 in their NRL pre-season trial at Redcliffe’s Dolphins Oval on Saturday night.
Rival coaches John Cartwright (Titans) and Anthony Griffin (Broncos) used their full squads to experiment with combinations ahead of next month’s season-opening round.
The Broncos were first on the scoreboard through fullback Josh Hoffman, who beat three Titans in a 30-metre dash to the tryline.
The Titans however led 16-4 at halftime following a slick try to young halfback Albert Kelly, whose left foot step was too good for the defence, while winger David Mead and Brad Takarangi also scored four-pointers.
Mead’s try was set up by a clever flick pass offload by giant centre Jamal Idris, who impressed in the opening 40 minutes.
Griffin rotated three halves in Peter Wallace, Scott Prince and Corey Norman, with Wallace spending a lot of time at dummy-half and Prince running the show.
Norman scored an opportunist try early in the second half after a Prince kick rebounded off the padded goalpost before winger Denan Kemp cashed in on a Prince kick to score in the corner to reduce the margin to 16-14, setting up a grandstand finish.
Brisbane utility Jake Granville scrambled across the tryline late in the game but was ruled to have been held up before Kemp was disallowed a second try from a Matt Gillett forward pass.
The game was stopped in the first half as young Brisbane centre Dale Copley was stretchered from the field after appearing to cop a knee while running the ball out of his own 20 metres.