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.