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Second-half blitz helps Roosters swamp Titans

The Titans couldn't go on with a strong first half at Central Coast Stadium as the Roosters produced 28 unanswered second-half points to hand Gold Coast a 34-14 loss.

The Titans had the measure of an underwhelming Tricolours in the opening 40, going to the sheds with an eight-point advantage, but collapsed in the face of an energetic Roosters almost from the moment the second half got underway.

In a match being billed as an Origin audition for plenty of players, there were mixed fortunes for the various candidates as some players looked to have pushed themselves into or out of contention.

Roosters centre Latrell Mitchell produced some worrying defensive lapses and a non-existent game in attack for just over 50 minutes before exploding through a 12-man Titans line in the second half and then getting himself sin-binned for goal-line infringements.

Winger Blake Ferguson produced some characteristically strong carries but had a couple of clangers as well. Luke Keary had little impact on the game but both Boyd Cordner and James Tedesco were strong and involved, with the latter bagging a first-half try before splitting the Titans for a long-range try assists in the second.

For the Titans, Jarrod Wallace did his Maroons hopes no harm (especially given a likely one-game suspension to Cowboy Matt Scott) with a big effort up front while lock Jai Arrow produced another monster effort however was troubled by a shoulder injury in the second half having already been troubled by rib and back injuries in recent weeks.

The Roosters celebrate a James Tedesco try.
The Roosters celebrate a James Tedesco try. ©Shane Myers/NRL Photos

The Titans opened the contest with plenty of energy and profited from some Roosters ill-discipline, with plenty of early penalties against the Tricolours.

It first handed the Titans a 2-0 lead in the fourth minute before Michael Gordon benefited from Blake Ferguson fluffing an Ash Taylor grubber kick in the Roosters' in-goal in the ninth minute.

A James Tedesco try off a neat Jake Friend grubber levelled the scores after 15 minutes but the Titans continued to enjoy the better of the field position.

They were unlucky to be denied a try to Anthony Don created by an exquisite Taylor pass in the 28th minute due to a marginal obstruction call but the same combination couldn't be denied three minutes later when Taylor again threaded the needle and Don touched down inside the right corner post.

Another penalty goal stretched the Titans' half-time lead to 14-6.

The Roosters needed a change of attitude in the second half and produced it with both teams looking nothing like their first-half selves.

The Roosters blew the game open with 22 unanswered points in 13 minutes, which included Ash Taylor being sin-binned on the back of repeated infringements.

Isaac Liu scored next to the posts off a beautiful Victor Radley pass, Mitchell ran through Ash Taylor's under-manned right edge and Cooper Cronk scored from one of his own grubber kicks that was fumbled by Bryce Cartwright in a period that also included two penalty goals.

The Titans righted the ship once Taylor returned but couldn't cash in on some attacking pressure (which included Mitchell being binned following repeated infringements) and instead it was the Roosters who had the final say when Tedesco burst into space and beat half the Titans team in setting up Mitch Aubusson four minutes from full-time to seal the 34-14 result.

News & Notes... Luke Keary's 100th NRL game finished with a comfortable win… Titan Jai Arrow played just 60 minutes after going off with an apparent shoulder injury midway through the second half… the win was just the second for the Roosters at Central Coast Stadium since 2006 with just one win in their previous 10 matches there… next week the Roosters host Wests Tigers at Allianz Stadium… the Titans have a bye in round 13

Acknowledgement of Country

Sydney Roosters respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.