THE Titans earned two crucial competition points in Canberra but the NRL could take them away on Sunday after the Gold Coast fielded an extra man.
Another NRL game, another series of controversies which overshadowed the Gold Coast’s hard-fought 24-20 upset of the Raiders.
The Titans look certain to be penalised in some fashion after David Shillington was caught on the field as an extra man in the 48th minute.
The result of having 14 men on the field is typically a loss of competition points but Shillington had no impact on play.
A fine is the most likely end result but the Titans are NRL-owned so the governing body would only be fining its self.
The drama was a result of Tyrone Roberts suffering a knee injury which looked serious prompting the Titans to replace him with Shillington but Roberts recovered unexpectedly and stayed on the field.
As the Raiders attacked the line, Shillington was in the in-goal for several seconds before realising Roberts was still on and then the prop ran off the field.
The Titans deserve to keep their two competition points. They fought too hard for an innocuous mistake to cost them what may be the difference between eighth and ninth.
“There was some confusion there,” Titans coach Neil Henry said of the incident.
“The sideline official is not supposed to hand the card over until the player is off.
“I don’t know if Tyrone Roberts was off or not but it did cost us an interchange.
“I am not sure. Match officials will look at it and we will see what happens.
“I reckon Shillo was on for five seconds so I think they realised he (Roberts) wasn’t off the other side.”
The last team to lose competition points for fielding 14 men on the field was Canterbury in 2009 although they appealed the decision.
The Titans are equal ladder-leaders four rounds in, alongside the Broncos, Bulldogs and Storm.
They have won three of four games.
The Titans’ 14 men drama wasn’t the end of the controversy.
A touch judge’s decision to award John Olive a try in the final minute sent Canberra fans into meltdown.
The match-winner was teenage centre Olive who only joined the Gold Coast one month ago.
He crashed over the line with one minute remaining and while the Raiders appeared to hold him up, the touch judge said he could see the ball on the tryline.
The incident was sent to the bunker as a try and while the ball couldn’t be seen on the ground, it was ruled there wasn’t enough evidence to overrule the on-field decision.
It was the second night in a row where referees made a crucial and controversial decision following the dramatic grand final replay.
The Titans deserved their victory but it came at a cost.
Injury cruelled the Titans again with Roberts suffering likely ligament damage in his knee.