Thank goodness for small mercies.
Kevin Proctor is back on the field after the Titans conceded three tries while he was in the sin-bin. And in the 10 minutes he was off the field, the Eels ran the ball for 369 metres to two. That just about says it all.
It’s just going from bad to worse too for Justin Holbrook, who has watched Phil Sami be helped from the field now with a lower leg problem. If covering rugby league for many years has taught me anything, I’m going to diagnose that as syndesmosis from my lounge.
Anyone want to argue?
I can’t keep up!
The Eels have just marched down the field again off the kick-off, and the set finishes with Clint Gutherson putting in the most awkward, spectacular kick you will ever see, finding Haze Dunster on the right wing and the kid does extremely well to pick the ball up and slam it down. I think he meant that, Clint.
The Titans haven’t touched the ball, literally, since Kevin Proctor went to the sin-bin. That’s three tries in five minutes. Clint Gutherson’s conversion is wayward, but it’s 20-0 to the Eels.
How ugly is this going to get?
This game could be as good as over before half-time as the Eels go in again, this time Ryan Matterson making a break after a Reed Mahoney pass, finding Nathan Brown, who drew AJ Brimson when he found Clint Gutherson and guess who was waiting there in support? Mahoney backs up his captain and grabs a well deserved try.
This is massive drama for Gold Coast, which still don’t have Kevin Proctor back from the sin-bin.
Clint Gutherson nails this conversion and the Eels stretch their lead to 16-0.
It was coming.
Down a man, the Titans dodged one when Ryan Matterson was held up only inches from the ground, but they can’t stop Shaun Lane who spins out of a tackle from a short Reed Mahoney pass and plants the ball down. They didn’t miss that opportunity – and how much better do Parramatta look with their little No.9 back on deck.
Isn’t it funny, the last time the Titans had a man in the sin-bin they scored three tries against the Raiders. Something tells me it ain’t going to be like that this time.
Clint Gutherson sprays the conversion, but the Eels lead 10-0 after 23 minutes.
What a huge moment in this game this could be. Gold Coast’s Kevin Proctor, no stranger to a bit of controversy, has been sin-binned for a dangerous tackle in which he and Patrick Herbert lift Isaiah Papali’i and put him in a very dangerous position as he lands on his head. Referee Matt Cecchin says he can sit down for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, Jakob Arthur has been cleared to return from his concussion assessment and is back on the field.
Anyone have any ideas who cut Dylan Brown’s hair upon relocating to Queensland? It looks like they’ve just put the old fashioned bowl on his head and shaved around it. Interesting.
I have no idea what his haircut is all about, but that is brilliant from Parramatta’s five-eighth Dylan Brown.
He receives a nice offload from Ryan Matterson, bursts through the Titans defensive line and then stands up AJ Brimson – with an equally bad fade – to post the first points of the night. He’s had an average year, but that just might be the play that ignites his season. You’d have to say the Titans had the running before that.
Clint Gutherson, with ballboys Mitchell Moses and Junior Paulo laughing in the background, makes the kick from the sideline. That was sweet. Eels lead 6-0 after 11 minutes.
How much is that going to come back to hurt them?
AJ Brimson releases Corey Thompson in space down the right, and he does so well to grubber past Clint Gutherson … but he can’t ground the ball. It looked a try for all money, but the bunker spotted a bounce. Rightly so. I don’t think I’ve seen Thompson make many mistakes like that, he’s usually so reliable.
Eels dodge a bullet.
Well, this is not what Brad Arthur would have wanted to start the game.
After resting his State of Origin halfback Mitchell Moses, Arthur’s son Jakob has now been taken off for a head injury assessment after reeling out of an early tackle. They’ve got Will Smith on the bench, but that will really put a strain on their rotation of Arthur can’t return tonight.
We’re underway in an NRL round we worried we might not see a week ago, at least not in this fashion. Queensland is the home for the NRL – and maybe for the rest of the season. Thank goodness we can still watch a bit of rugby league at the end of the week.
AJ Brimson kicks off for the Titans.