In what can be termed as an unexpected turn of events, the Gold Coast team has rocked the boat for North Queensland with their surprising 22-13 victory. This has certainly disrupted the plot for the NRL top eight.
North Queensland Cowboys, currently ranked eighth with 26 competition points, lost a golden opportunity to rise to the fifth spot. Additionally, their centre player, Valentine Holmes has been put on report for a high tackle, a development that they will be watching with bated breath as the NRL unveils its match review committee charge sheet on the forthcoming Monday.
Currently, only a slim gap of two competition points exists between the sixth-placed South Sydney, with 26 points and Parramatta who occupy the eleventh spot with 24 points given there are only five rounds remaining.
Despite the tension, the Titans had a triumphant day at Cbus Super Stadium and had their loyal support of 16,516 fans cheering them on. The day became particularly memorable for winger Alofiana Khan-Pereira as he made his mark as the all-time highest tryscorer for the club in a season with his 18th try in 2023.
The Titans kicked things off with an exceptional 70-metre try as Khan-Pereira found a break and made a forward kick, allowing fullback AJ Brimson to score. Cowboys‘ fullback Scott Drinkwater promptly responded, finding winger Semi Valemei with an impeccably timed cutout pass to level the scores.
Cowboys‘ prop Coen Hess displayed his athletic prowess as he seized a Chad Townsend bomb like a gazelle to put the visitors ahead with a 12-6 lead. However, this lead was short-lived as things began to go south for the Cowboys.
Holmes found himself in the sin-bin and was put on report for an inappropriate high shot on Campbell in the 21st minute, marking a repeated offence from the previous week.
Titans‘ players Brian Kelly and Phil Sami, both of whom signed contract extensions until 2026 during the week, celebrated with a 23rd-minute try to Sami. They leveraged the advantage of an extra man effectively.
Even though the Cowboys led 13-10 at half-time, Khan-Pereira made a swift break right after the break. He facilitated Campbell to score in a consecutive 70m raid, and minutes later, scored his 18th try for the year.