Fifita fires Titans to stunning win over Broncos

Joel Gould |

The Broncos struggled to contain barnstorming Titans forward David Fifita (centre).
The Broncos struggled to contain barnstorming Titans forward David Fifita (centre).

Gold Coast forward David Fifita turned in a barnstormer to set up a stunning 36-34 comeback win over his former club Brisbane and make a compelling statement ahead of State of Origin.

Fifita, set to be named for the Maroons on Monday, was enormous with his involvements and impact in running for 173 metres before leaving the field with five minutes left in the game after a head knock.

Titans fullback Keano Kini had the best game of his career, setting up three tries, in front of 44,221 fans at Suncorp Stadium

Brisbane fullback Reece Walsh dazzled in attack in a huge boost to the Maroons.

Reece Walsh runs with the ball for Brisbane against Gold Coast.
Reece Walsh’s dashing display was not enough to earn Brisbane the points in the Queensland derby. (Jason O’BRIEN/AAP PHOTOS)

The 21-year-old, returning from a week’s absence with a knee injury, made two line-breaks and had five line-break assists. He is set to be named at fullback for Queensland.

Walsh had several errors in his game, as he does, but he fired a warning shot to NSW about the danger he poses.

Broncos and Queensland lock Pat Carrigan was put on report for a high shot on Josiah Pahulu in the first half, but it would surprise if he received more than a fine when the charge sheet comes out on Monday.

Brisbane prop Payne Haas opened the scoring before Titans winger Tony Francis injured his right shoulder while trying to tackle Walsh. It was hanging limply, but he bravely stayed on the field long enough to score a try after a rampaging run by Fifita. 

Broncos winger Corey Oates scored his 121st career try for the club, taking him into outright third on the all-time list.

Broncos whiz Ezra Mam set up a penalty try for winger Deine Mariner when he put through a delightful kick. Mariner was tackled by Titans centre Beau Fermor before he had a chance to score.

Fermor, in his best game of the season after switching from the back row, raced 10m to score to keep his side in it.

Walsh hit hole-running expert Brendan Piakura for a try with a cracking ball, before Titans bench forward Erin Clark dragged four players over the line to narrow the margin to eight points.

Titans makeshift No.6 Chris Randall crashed over after a crafty Fifita pass.

Mam threatened to turn the game with a 90m run, but the Titans hit back with tries to Klese Haas and Brian Kelly to take the lead. 

Walsh set up Selwyn Cobbo for a late try to ensure a grandstand finish.

Fifita left the field in the 75th minute with an HIA, but the Titans hung on, with half Tom Weaver saving a late try with a cover tackle on Oates.