Mark Minichiello of the Titans (right) is congratulated by Albert Kelly after scoring a try against the Storm.
Mark Minichiello of the Titans (right) is congratulated by Albert Kelly after scoring a try against the Storm. GETTY IMAGES

Melbourne stripped of a big victory

CONTROVERSIES, drama and match reports, the Gold Coast's gripping 30-28 upset over Melbourne at AAMI Park yesterday had it all.

In the absence of late withdrawal Aidan Sezer (quad cork), an ice cool Greg Bird landed a 38m penalty inside the final minute to snatch a win after Ryan Hinchcliffe, celebrating his 150th NRL game, was controversially penalised for stripping the ball from Titans prop Luke Douglas.

The home crowd erupted in boos and jeers as the incident was shown on the big screen with Douglas clearly losing the ball in a three-man tackle.

It was sweet revenge for the Titans who left the same ground last season with a one-point defeat in round 26 after Cooper Cronk's drop goal won the game in extra time.

This time they led 14-12 at half-time with centre Brad Tighe claiming a try after winger Kevin Gordon showed great skills to win an aerial contest with Storm fullback Billy Slater before getting a pass away to a support player while lying on his back.

The second half was full of drama with Storm reserve Dayne Weston placed on report for an alleged "crusher" tackle on Titans winger David Mead in the 53rd minute

The league's match review committee will also take a look at another second-half tackle in which Melbourne centre Will Chambers was lifted and dumped by Titans hooker Beau Falloon.

The fourth win from five games for the Titans - who are now outright top after five rounds - should ensure a bumper crowd at the Gold Coast on Friday night when they take on the Broncos in a local derby.



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