Manly superstar Tom Trobozevic suffered a shoulder injury that overshadowed a spectacular Gold Coast performance at the Brookwell Oval on Saturday as the Titans equaled the highest score in NRL history and the fourth win in six years.
The Gold Coast overcame the losses of winger Corey Thompson and Hooker Mitch Raine just before half-time to win 42-24, making the Sea Eagles the worst home record since the club’s founded in 1947.
However, the focus was on Trobozevic, who is playing in his first match since injuring his left femur three months ago in a round six game against Canberra in Campertown.
After a mixed performance, he made four errors, saved one attempt, had one hand on the other, and came off the Trobozevic field with a shoulder injury in the 62nd minute.
Trobozevic appeared to be injured when Gold Coast fullback AJ Freeman tried to tackle him 10 minutes ago, but he tried to play and early reports from Sea Eagles camp said he came off the field as a precaution.
The Sea Eagles got off to an almost perfect start as captain Daly Cherry-Evans attempted a second-round rookie Jack Kosciuszki in the second minute before the tie-breaker touched the ball.
However, Manly fans still had a little more to cheer on before half-time as the crowd rallied on four attempts in a row on the scene of brilliant counter-attacking play and sheer speed.
Center Young Donumaybia, who scored on the Gold Coast, came first in the 13th minute with a kick and a quick 20-meter run, when full-back A.J. Primsen started the race quickly before sending the race to a 75-meter run.
Donomaybia seemed to make his own attempt when Sea Eagles knocked down Rookie Albert Hoboyt by a fifth-eighth Ash Taylor on his own, but he stumbled before landing on the ball.
Titans winger Corey Thompson managed to avoid putting a foot on the touchline in the 23rd minute when he hit the ball into the corner and when he was tackled by Hoboyt, the midfielder took a looping pass from Jamal Focard.
Five minutes later Donumaybia rewarded his efforts, with Primsson turning his back on support by tapping Tyrone Peachy for preparation for the Melbourne storm.
Tom Trobozevic forced after a shoulder injury in an attempt to prevent Brimson
The Samoa-born Titans extended their lead to 22-6 after Cherry-Evans threw Thompson after throwing an interception pass near the Gold Coast line.
Manly Interchange prop Daniela Paseca gave Brookwall some confidence after the Trobozevic brothers joined in to run through a hole to score in the 38th minute, with Jack acting as the supplier and Tom Decoy as the runner.
Gold Coast lost Thompson (femur) and Hooker Mitch Raine (HIA) before half-time siren, but it did nothing to slow down the attack after the break, with Interchange forward Sam Stone charging through the back-pedaling guard near the Eagles line 44th In minute.
Brimson runs 80 meters to score from the restart
The attempt came after Trobozevic dropped a misguided Davida Funa pass, but the pair blocked a pass from Titans Rookie Germain Spree five minutes later from Morgan Harper to score after the 90-meter run.
Trujevic Spry was able to tap the ankle and planted just below the line where he tried the ball before Fona overcame him.
Things got worse for the Sea Eagles in the 51st minute when New Zealand’s second rover, Kevin Proctor, dived on a Focardi kick and Trobozevic tried to graze it on the dead-ball line.
Spree gets his first attempt at NRL
After Brimson tried to score a goal by a full-time superstar in the 53rd minute, Sea Eagles fans and game followers feared the worst when Trobozevic was caught on his right shoulder, but he bravely tried to fight back.
After putting down another pass and failing to take Taylor’s kick, Sproke was able to score in the 60th minute when Trobozevic finally came off the field.
Kozievsky and Cherry-Evans made the score sequence more respectable with a late attempt.