A penalty goal in golden point to Jamayne Isaako has helped the Dolphins secure their eighth win of the season following a 23-21 victory over the Titans at Cbus Super Stadium on Sunday.
Titans forward Erin Clark was ruled offside in attempting to charge down Isaako's field goal attempt in the 85th minute with referee Grant Atkins not hesitating to give the Dolphins a penalty from in front of the posts to break the deadlock.
It was somewhat of an anti-climactic finish to the match after both sides couldn't be separated for 80 minutes after field goals to Isaako and Tanah Boyd in regular time set up a 21-21 scoreline.
Isaako appeared to have won the game for his side with a 75th minute field goal before Boyd stepped up to sink his own one-pointer three minutes later and send the game into golden point.
Adding to the drama, Sean O'Sullivan lost the ball over the line in a try-saving play from Sam Verrills and Jayden Campbell that would've won the game for the Dolphins in regular time.
Offside penalty wins game for Phins
Campbell was enormous for the Titans in a beaten side, setting a new record for the club for most metres run in a match with 305 as well as coming up with two big defensive plays to deny the Dolphins during the match.
Less than three months after the Dolphins rallied from a 26-point deficit to beat the Titans in Round 8, Wayne Bennett's side were back causing their Queensland rivals a headache in front of 18,335 on the Gold Coast.
Isaako puts Dolphins in front
The Titans led 14-6 early with Kieran Foran instrumental in the first half before a Jarrod Wallace try in the 48th minute sparked a 15-minute Dolphins onslaught that included Kenny Bromwich and Isaako both crossing on the right edge.
A try to Brian Kelly on the left edge got the Titans back level with the Dolphins to set up the grandstand finish.
Earlier, the visitors crossed first through Connelly Lemuelu after a short pass from O'Sullivan close to the line setting up a 6-0 lead.
Foran returned serve to produce a masterclass in cut-out passes and set up his own try via an Alofiana Khan-Periera kick before sending Phil Sami over from a scrum four minutes later.
Titans debutant Jacob Alick appeared to have had a memorable first touch in the NRL when placing a kick in for Khan-Periera to go over but the try was pulled back due to Isaako being impeded in the lead-up.
Boyd one pointer equalises
A penalty goal through Boyd allowed the Titans to skip ahead by eight but that evaporated when Wallace - who bombed a try only a minute earlier - was able to cross when he linked with Isaiya Katoa.
The final 20 minutes of the match was at its see-sawing best before an unnecessary pass from Iszac Fa'asuamaleaui put Jaimin Jolliffe - who couldn't hold the ball - under pressure and enabled the Dolphins to get within striking range in extra time.
Match: Titans v Dolphins
Round 19 -
Venue: Cbus Super Stadium, Gold Coast
- The Dolphins have now beaten the Titans twice in their inaugural season.
- Kenny Bromwich crossed for his first Dolphins try and in doing so broke a 20-game drought that stretched back to his time at the Storm.
- Jayden Campbell ran a Titans record-high 305 metres in the loss - eclipsing the club's previous record set by Jai Arrow.
- Titans halfback Tanah Boyd has now kicked 29 goals from 31 attempts at Cbus Super Stadium in 2023.
- Both sides completed at over 85 percent for the clash with the Titans producing 18 offloads to the Dolphins' 13.
- Former Titans Jarrod Wallace and Jamayne Isaako scored tries against their old club.
- Titans forward Joe Stimson was ruled out of the match in the second half after suffering a concussion.
- Dolphins forward Mark Nicholls was placed on report in the 20th minute for an alleged crusher tackle on Stimson.
Play of the game
Anthony Milford's injection in the second half proved a turning point for the Dolphins with two try assists getting the visitors back in the game. Milford poked his nose through the line on a couple of occasions before providing the kick for Isaako to pounce on the loose ball.
Isaako clubs the corner post
What they said
"I knew I needed to get Anthony Milford on the field out there. He brings a lot and changed that second half. He's been out for three weeks, they feel that pain when they're out there after letting the team down. They want to come back and do something good for them. We didn't want to go into the Penrith game on the back of five losses. We're not fearing where we are but after four losses you need to find a way to win." - Dolphins coach Wayne Bennett.
"I was proud with how we stuck right through the game. I think we took a step forward in becoming a resilient team. We had a lot of younger blokes out there today. I'm not sure [about the penalty], I know he got back but whether he left early... I don't know if it's any different to leaving early 40 metres out. We're not having any luck at all. - Titans interim coach Jim Lenihan.
NRL Press Conference: Titans v Dolphins - Round 19, 2023
Both sides are back in action next Sunday afternoon with the Dolphins set to return to Redcliffe for a clash against defending premiers Penrith at Kayo Stadium. The Titans will hit the road to Sydney for a match against Parramatta at CommBank Stadium.