The Gold Coast Titans sent the Canberra Raiders packing and spoil their finals hopes with a comfortable 30-6 win at GIO Stadium in Canberra on Sunday.
It was the Gold Coast spine led by Lauren Brown that helped steer the team to victory and into third position on the ladder heading into the NRLW finals series next week where they'll face the Roosters.
Karyn Murphy's side ran in four unanswered tries in the first half to set up a 22-0 lead before extending their lead after the break to ensure they'll head into a sudden-death clash against the Roosters next week primed for the finals.
Back-to-back penalties gave the visitors a dream start with Titans hooker Brittany Breayley-Nati producing two try assists inside eight minutes when she sent both Shannon Mato and Evania Pelite over from close range.
The Titans kept applying the pressure and going better than a point per-minute leading to a strong individual run by Jaime Chapman to score underneath the posts to extend the lead to 18-0 with just 13 minutes gone.
Brown showed some pace when she slid through the Raiders defence with a show-and-go crossing in the corner in the 28th minute to make it 22-0 at the break.
Shaylee Bent Try
The Titans kept growing in confidence as the game went on, and a slick double-pump from Brown saw Shaylee Bent crash over out-wide to extend the lead to 26-0 just after half-time to ensure there was no coming back for the Raiders.
It was end-to-end football for the final 20 minutes of play until the Raiders got on the scoresheet in the 66th minute through Madison Bartlett when the ball was swung to the left after a mid-field break.
However, the Titans responded immediately with an impressive try from close range from utility Sienna Lofipo taking the full-time score to 30-6 - the side's second biggest win of the season.
Match: Raiders v Titans
Round 9 -
Venue: GIO Stadium, Canberra
- The Raiders needed to win by 12 to advance to the finals. They were down 22-0 at half-time which killed off their chances early.
- Shannon Mato and Lauren Brown's tries were the first of their 2023 seasons.
- Jaime Chapman has now scored six tries in her last four games.
- Zahara Temara left the field late in the match due to a knee injury.
- Titans hooker Brittany Breayley-Nati finished the first half with two try assists and two line break assists while skipper Georgia Hale has now finished the regular season with the most tackles count (402).
- Cheyelle Robins-Reti left the field for a HIA in the 41st minute however later returned despite a cut above the eye.
- Titans fullback Evania Pelite had an impressive outing with a try, 166 metres before being given an early breather.
Play of the game
In what was a must-win game for the Raiders to progress, the Titans brought plenty of energy and attacking flair which was on display when Jaime Chapman burst through multiple defenders to score underneath the posts for the Titans and keeping them in complete control.
Jaime Chapman Try
What they said
“We knew we had to come out fast and play our game and concentrate on that which is what the girls have been doing all week so I’m really happy with that performance today. I thought today was our most complete performance this year. We didn’t want to focus on the scoreboard, we just wanted to compete on each and every set and start well, that was the most pleasing thing today that the girls did that.” - Titans coach Karyn Murphy.
Titans: Round 9
“We couldn’t control the ruck. We lost that ruck when we needed to win it. We started the journey back in November and to sit where we are now, it’s been terrific, the clubs bought in so well. I couldn’t be any more prouder of the girls we’ve had here. It’s been one hell of a ride. Bring on next year already”. - Raiders coach Darrin Borthwick.
Raiders: Round 9
The Titans will take on the Roosters next weekend in Sydney for a spot in the 2023 NRLW grand final while the Raiders' inaugural season has come to an end after a promising campaign that included five victories.