Felise Kaufusi scored the match-winner in a tough contest at Suncorp Stadium.
Felise Kaufusi scored the match-winner in a tough contest at Suncorp Stadium.

Smith in strife as Storm beat busted Titans

STORM captain Cameron Smith has hit back at accusations he deliberately injured Titans forward Kevin Proctor as Melbourne escaped with a 28-14 win against the gritty Gold Coast on Saturday night.

The Storm moved into the top four with victory in the first clash of the Suncorp Stadium double header but it could come at a price following two questionable incidents.

Smith appeared to be involved in a "wishbone" tackle which forced former Storm teammate Proctor off the field with a groin injury.

"I didn't try to pull his leg out," Smith said.

"Kevvie is a really good friend of mine and everyone at our club. There was no chance I'd be going in to injure the bloke.

"Whatever happens out of this game with that tackle I've got absolutely no control over. All I can say is I'm not in there to try and hurt the bloke.

"I spoke to Kevvie after the game to see how he was going. I made sure I told him I had no intention to hurt him. He was very grateful for me to come over and say I had no intention."

Ash Taylor was impressive for the Titans on a tough night.
Ash Taylor was impressive for the Titans on a tough night.

Titans captain Ryan James said Smith should have been penalised for the Proctor tackle.

"I thought an injury to a player going off would lead to a penalty," he said.

"It's disappointing to lose players to circumstances that happen on the field."

A head slam on Titans prop Jarrod Wallace will also be scrutinised by the NRL's match review committee after it left the Gold Coast forward needing a concussion test.

"Our luck is going to turn if we keep working hard like that. They are a determined football side."

The signs weren't good early when it took just three minutes for the Gold Coast's defence to crumble as Storm centre Curtis Scott strolled through a gaping hole.

Club debutant Brenko Lee was caught out badly when Scott scored but he made amends to get the Gold Coast on the board before Dale Copley outpointed Test centre Will Chambers.

When Michael Gordon slotted a penalty goal the Titans had a shock 14-8 lead at halftime, but Melbourne turned the screws as the Titans started to drop like flies.

The Storm drew level when Queensland Origin hopeful Felise Kaufusi scored, took the lead with a Smith penalty goal then edged further ahead through in-form five-eighth Cameron Munster.

Storm prop Christian Welch was sin-binned when he illegally stopped Titans debutant Alexander Brimson scoring in the 72nd minute, a crucial play which snuffed out any chance of a Gold Coast comeback.

After a slow start to the season, the Storm juggernaut has kicked into gear with four wins from their past five matches while the Titans will be looking to bounce back against Newcastle on Saturday.

MELBOURNE 28 (J Addo-Carr F Kaufusi C Munster C Scott tries C Smith 6 goals) bt GOLD COAST 14 (D Copley B Lee tries M Gordon 3 goals) at Suncorp Stadium. Referee: Gavin Badger, Chris Sutton.

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