The Courier-Mail

Au revoir Dave, you’ve cer­tainly en­thralled us


THE Coal­train steamed out of the Gold Coast in em­phatic fash­ion as the Ti­tans edged away from the wooden spoon with a thrilling 28-26 win over St Ge­orge Illawarra yesterday.

In his last ap­pear­ance at Cbus Su­per Sta­dium be­fore he heads to Su­per League club Cata­lans, Dave Tay­lor scored two tries in an 80-minute clinic which had the crowd of 12,335 ques­tion­ing why he had been pushed out of the club.

Like usual, Tay­lor had some for­get­table mo­ments in his 57th ap­pear­ance for the Ti­tans but he scored the match­win­ning try with four min­utes to go to end his tur­bu­lent Gold Coast ten­ure on a high.

At 27 and with 169 NRL games un­der his belt, Tay­lor should be in the prime of his ca­reer but he in­stead has a one-way ticket to France.

“He’s moved on. He’s look­ing for­ward to get­ting over there,” Ti­tans coach Neil Henry said.

“He wanted to play well at home and he did that. It shows what he can do at times.

“That’s him at his dam­ag­ing best. We know he can do that.

“His best is bet­ter than most peo­ple ever get to.

“You put a hard mark on him ev­ery time. He’s tal­ented so we put the bar very high for him. I take my hat off to him. He’s shown what he can do.

“He hasn’t been able to nail it con­sis­tently through­out his ca­reer. We un­fairly judge him some­times be­cause of how good he is.”

The Ti­tans farewelled 15 play­ers on the inau­gu­ral Old Boys day, in­clud­ing cap­tain Nate Myles and Ai­dan Sezer, who sat on the side­lines in­jured along­side Greg Bird.

They lost Beau Fal­loon (back), Eddy Pet­ty­bourne (an­kle) and Josh Hoff­man (groin) dur­ing the grip­ping en­counter but man­aged to ride the wave of ad­ver­sity to their third straight win at home.

The vic­tory lifted the Ti­tans from last to 12th on the lad­der head­ing into Satur­day’s fi­nal­round clash against the slid­ing Cowboys in Townsville.

“There was some re­silience and tough­ness to hang in,” Henry said.

“There’s a huge dif­fer­ence be­tween win­ning and los­ing.

“We can play an en­ter­tain­ing style of football. We did it early in the sea­son then fell in a slump.

“Apart from the Manly game (38-6 loss), we’ve had a crack in ev­ery home game. We need to make sure we can do that next year.”

Weak goalline de­fence was a prob­lem for the Ti­tans with Mitch Rein, Mike Cooper and Benji Mar­shall all scor­ing soft first-half tries.

Ag­natius Paasi, who ran a stag­ger­ing 197m to win his first man-of-the-match award, and Tay­lor barged their way over to make it 20-12 at the break.

David Mead broke an 11game tryscor­ing drought with a dou­ble be­fore Tay­lor pinched vic­tory with a con­tro­ver­sial try.

It was the Gold Coast’s fifth win at home this sea­son and gave fans a glim­mer of hope about what 2016 could hold.

Bird is ex­pected to re­turn from a quads in­jury against the Cowboys along with Ryan James, who missed yesterday’s win through sus­pen­sion.

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