A field goal on the siren by veteran Pat Richards has given the Wests Tigers a dramatic 19-18 NRL victory over Gold Coast.
The undermanned Titans had fought hard for a chance to put their off-field crises behind them with a morale-boosting win but were denied when Richards slotted the match-winner from 40m on the siren.
It was a thrilling end to a tight game which also featured two Tigers players placed on report for high shots on Titans fullback Will Zillman.
Young Tigers five-eighth Mitchell Moses was placed on report after a high and careless shot on Zillman in the 68th minute.
Another rap across Zillman’s chin by Tigers’ hitman Martin Taupau minutes later also resulted in the Tiger being placed on report while Zillman was taken off for a concussion test.
Those incidents overshadowed a see-sawing contest in which Titans centre James Roberts scored a double, as did Richards.
Both teams scored three tries but it was the Titans who looked like they might pull off a much-needed win in front of 14,319 fans, with five of their players unavailable due to pending drug charges, including State of Origin stars Greg Bird and Dave Taylor.
It was left to Richards to spoil the fairytale result however, slotting the winning point to ensure Jason Taylor’s reign as Tigers’ coach gets off to a winning start.