Sport Rugby League Bird is the word as Titans’ late penalty sinks Storm

Bird is the word as Titans’ late penalty sinks Storm

Greg Bird of the Titans celebrates kicking the match-winning penalty.
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Melbourne Storm’s season has continued to unravel with a last-gasp penalty goal sealing a 28-26 NRL win for the Gold Coast at AAMI Park.

Greg Bird slotted the kick with only a minute left on Sunday to break the deadlock after Titans forward Luke Douglas lost the ball in a tackle.

The Melbourne faithful, who felt Douglas lost the ball rather than it being raked out, were furious with the referees and booed them from the ground.

The Titans probably deserved the win, running the Storm ragged with five tries from five different players to inflict Melbourne’s second straight loss after they were thrashed by the Bulldogs last round.

Melbourne’s last home game was their fateful Monday night clash a fortnight ago when Newcastle’s Alex McKinnon broke his neck.

Storm forward Jordan McLean was suspended for seven weeks for his role in the tackle.

McKinnon was acknowledged in a scoreboard message before play got underway with the club wishing him well.

In an eery reminder of the incident, Titans hooker Beau Falloon was put on report with 10 minutes remaining after he up-ended Storm centre Will Chambers in a tackle.

The Storm earlier had reserve forward Dayne Weston put on report for a crusher tackle on Titans fullback David Mead.

Storm winger Sisa Waqa opened the scoring in the seventh minute when he ran on to a pin-point kick by halfback Cooper Cronk.

The pair repeated the feat in the 24th minute and Waqa could have had a hat-trick before halftime but dropped the ball as he tried to touch down.

The Titans led 14-12 at the break and then extended that to 20-12 through Albert Kelly, who intercepted a Ben Hampton pass to dash 40m to the tryline.

Both teams continued to chance their arms, with Kenny Bromwich putting the Storm back in the hunt when he ran on a pass from Cooper Cronk.

Each time Gold Coast tried to break away the Storm hit back.

A penalty strike by Cameron Smith, who kicked five from five, with eight minutes remaining allowed his team to draw level and it appeared it would go into golden-point extra-time before the controversial penalty.