Sport Rugby League Gold Coast Titans break year-long NRL losing streak v Wests Tigers
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Gold Coast Titans break year-long NRL losing streak v Wests Tigers

Titans player Jai Arrow reacts with teammates after Phillip Sami scored the winning try against Wests Tigers in Brisbane on Sunday. Photo: AAP
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After a 364-day wait, Gold Coast Titans have finally savoured victory with a gutsy 28-23 NRL triumph over Wests Tigers at Suncorp Stadium.

Justin Holbrook’s side snapped a 14-game losing streak on Sunday, notching its first victory since June 9 last year with the come-from-behind win sealed by fullback Phillip Sami’s 78th-minute try.

Five-eighth Ash Taylor proved the difference, ending a form slump to set up two tries with a kicking masterclass to deliver Holbrook’s first win at the club.

Benji Marshall’s late field goal appeared to have sealed the win for the visitors, but the rub of the green finally went the Titans’ way in the dying moments.

A fortuitous bounce from a short kick off following Marshall’s strike gifted the Titans possession and moments later Sami snapped up a Brian Kelly grubber to seal the match-winner as Gold Coast went into party mode.

Holbrook toasted his team’s character after they came back from 12-0 down in the first half and 22-12 in the second to upstage the Tigers (2-2 record).

“It’s obviously great to get the win and in that fashion,” Holbrook said.

“The way we came back in both halves, fought our way back into it, I am very happy for the club.

“That’s the most pleasing thing, it was great character from the boys.”

Holbrook wielded the axe before the game following last week’s 36-6 loss which relegated them to 14 straight defeats – the worst run since Newcastle lost 19 straight from 2016-2017.

And the early portents weren’t good for the Titans after they lost fullback Tyrone Roberts (ankle) before kick-off and fell behind 12-0 after 13 minutes.

But the game turned on its head with a Taylor 40-20 kick which led to captain Kevin Proctor crashing over in the 21st minute.

Suddenly the Titans had a spring in their step, levelling the scores at 12-all by halftime.

The Tigers then jumped to a 22-12 lead after winger David Nofoaluma sealed his try-scoring double.

But the Titans clawed their way back again with Keegan Hipgrave (58th) scoring his first career try and Kelly (69th) snapping up a sublime Taylor kick to level the scores 22-all before Sami’s heroics.

Tigers coach Michael Maguire wasn’t happy.

Asked if his side were complacent, he said: “Maybe the result shows that doesn’t it?

“I am sick and tired of the ups and downs of our performances. We need to change that.

“It’s unacceptable, that performance.”

-AAP