Sami hat-trick as Titans upset Broncos
The Gold Coast Titans broke an 11-year drought at Suncorp Stadium against their near neighbours, upsetting a woeful Brisbane Broncos to the tune of 26-14.
Yes, you read it right. After getting thrashed 54-8 the week before by the St George Illawarra Dragons, the Titans played the entertaining football their coach Garth Brennan promised in the pre-season, and how.
Their captain Ryan James led a forward pack that took on the Broncos in the middle, and won.
Winger Phillip Sami, who hails from the Goodna Eagles club that produced the great Noel Kelly, scored a hat-trick on the back of flair and a welcome penchant for the unorthodox.
Match: Broncos vs Titans
Venue: Suncorp Stadium
- Fox League
- LIVE PASS
None of the Titans' tries was more outside the box than the one Sami scored on the stroke of half-time after James, playing prop, put through a grubber that Cooper Cronk would have been proud of.
The Titans redeemed themselves for last week's shocker and when it comes to redemption stories none epitomised that more than five-eighth Kane Elgey who set up two tries with slick passes.
Elgey's performance may well prove to be the catalyst to get his mojo back for good after it appeared his confidence was shot.
The Broncos offered nothing in attack with halves Anthony Milford and Kodi Nikorima unable to get their backline to fire.
Twice Andrew McCullough passes hit the turf with no ball runners on the end of them.
The Broncos started the game like a side that expected to just turn up and win, but they lost to the Titans at home for the first time since the opening round of 2007.
Elgey threw a superb face-ball to put Sami over the opening minutes. Not to be outdone, Ash Taylor, who put on a masterclass, followed it up with one of his own to Dale Copley and the Titans led 10-0 after five minutes.
The Broncos right-side defence was in tatters and their errors prolific in the opening stages.
McCullough has mastered the art of the dummy close to the line and the Titans fell for it as the lead was cut to four.
After scoring on the stroke of half-time to give his side a 16-8 lead at the break, Sami turned provider after half-time with a cross-field bomb of his own as Anthony Donl jumped highest to score a cracker.
Elgey was on song with another pass, marginal though it was, to send Sami in for his third try of the night and the Broncos trailed 26-8.
Brisbane winger Jamayne Isaako proved a week is a long time in rugby league. A hero the week before against the Wests Tigers, Isaako had a night to forget with several dropped balls and defensive misreads.
Taylor’s kicking game was on song all night with his short kicks and towering bombs proving a handful for a Brisbane side that will rue the day he left Red Hill.
It took the Brisbane Broncos 65 minutes to get out of a deep slumber.
From 15 metres out and with the Broncos going nowhere Nikorima threw a dummy, went himself and conjured up a try from nothing.
But it proved to be an aberration on a night where the 30,742 fans left no doubt wondering where the Broncos are headed in 2018. If the performance they dished up becomes the norm, it won’t be very far.