|Match Date||7th Sep, 2014|
|Opponent||Gold Coast Titans|
|Venue||Gold Coast (CBUS Super Stadium)|
I don’t know what goes through Josh Reynolds’ head,’’ said the intended recipient of one of the weirdest passes in 106 years of premiership history.
Canterbury will go into the finals having won just two of their last eight regular games after surrendering an 18-0 lead to lose 19-18 in golden-point time to struggling Gold Coast at Cbus Super Stadium.
The score was 18-0 at half-time when NSW five-eighth Reynolds, whose last suspension came after three indiscretions in one game, ran towards the eastern touchline, seemingly to run the clock down.
Once he thought he had crossed the stripe, he cheekily threw the ball at Titans winger Anthony Don. Don set off towards the line. Although a touch judge called Reynolds out, he was penalised for an intentional forward pass, giving Gold Coast the chance to score their first points.
They failed to do so, however, until the second half. But Reynolds’ extraordinary decision to lob the ball deliberately to an opponent was the beginning of the end for his team on Sunday.
‘‘It was strange, I don’t know why he threw it,’’ said winger Don, whose 59th-minute try narrowed the margin to 18-10. ‘‘I don’t know if that was a metaphor for what was to come. I don’t know what goes through Josh Reynolds’ mind.
‘‘That’s what makes him a brilliant player; sometimes it’s his undoing. I don’t think [Des] Hasler would be happy with him or he’ll do it again.’’
The only comment Hasler had about the incident was ‘‘it wasn’t a smart thing to do’’. Hasler cut his media conference short after just over two minutes and three seconds.
Not only did the second half mark a capitulation on the scoreboard by his charges but second rower Tony Williams was booked for a shoulder charge.
‘‘I think he should be OK, I think his arm was up,’’ Hasler said of that incident. ‘‘He had the indicators he was making a tackle, I think penalty will be sufficient.’’
He described the performance as: ‘‘Very poor ... it was our fault, we had no ball. I feel a bit sorry for our fans today.
‘‘I don’t think it’s complacency. I think it’s just the way the game pans out, particularly possession-wise. But we had the game within our grasp. There are no excuses. It was certainly nothing like the footy we played last week against Souths but it’s something we’re just going to have to let go [of] and not dwell on and move on from pretty quickly.’’
With that, Hasler said, ‘‘thank you very much’’, and got to his feet without taking further questions.
The Belmore side cruised early, centre Tim Lafai and prop James Graham making it 12-0 inside the first 15 minutes. Replacement Reni Maitua’s 35th-minute try was his first in blue and white since 2008. Winger Kalifa Faifai Loa embarked on the long road back for the Titans when he dotted down from a cross-kick at 52 minutes. Another seven minutes elapsed before Don’s intercept, then standin captain Mark Minichiello, playing his final game for the club before linking with Hull FC, scored an individual try that would go down as a career highlight.
Brad Takairangi levelled it up with a minute left in regulation time and Daniel Mortimer’s conversion struck the woodwork and missed.
In golden-point time, Reynolds looked well-positioned to boot the winning points but the ball went to Trent Hodkinson, who sprayed it.
At the other end, it was fullback William Zillman who won the day, 22 metres out and almost in front.
‘‘‘Zilly’ has been my roommate for five years, I had to kiss him,’’ Minichiello said.
The amazing finish was a fitting farewell for Minichiello, Luke Bailey and Ashley Harrison.
Titans Dave Taylor was reported for a head slam.
Source: The Sydney Morning Herald
|Josh Reynolds||Five Eighth||0||0||0||0|
|Trent Hodkinson||Half Back||0||3||0||6|
|Josh Jackson||Second Row||0||0||0||0|
|Tony Williams||Second Row||0||0||0||0|
|James Graham||Front Row||1||0||0||4|
|Aiden Tolman||Front Row||0||0||0||0|