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Hayne hurt but Titans beat Storm in NRL

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 13/05/2017 Laine Clark

Gold Coast are breathing a sigh of relief - along with NSW selectors - after Jarryd Hayne was cleared of serious injury after their stunning 38-36 upset over NRL leaders Melbourne on Saturday night.

Hayne's State of Origin hopes appeared in doubt when he was helped off the field in the 67th minute with the match in the balance.

There were initial fears he had aggravated the left ankle complaint that had sidelined him for six weeks earlier this year.

However, Hayne was not only cleared of serious injury he recovered to re-emerge from the Suncorp Stadium sheds after fulltime to celebrate centre Konrad Hurrell's match-winning 78th minute try with ecstatic Titans teammates.

A relieved Titans coach Neil Henry expected Hayne to be available next week after he was diagnosed with nerve damage in the knee.

"It was badly needed. It was a rollercoaster game but to the boys' credit they found a way to win and against a quality team," Henry said.

"It proves we can compete.

"We spoke about it being a critical time for us on the back of a couple of wins so hopefully we keep the momentum going."

Gold Coast appeared shot when Hayne left the field as the Storm scored three tries in six minutes to lead 36-28 with 10 minutes left.

The Titans were also reduced to a one-man bench for the final minutes with lock Ryan Simpkins (knee) and winger Dan Sarginson (shoulder) also sidelined.

But somehow the injury ravaged Titans found a way.

Standout winger Anthony Don capped the miracle comeback when he soared high to bat back pivot Kane Elgey's kick for Hurrell to score at the death.

It was Gold Coast's third-straight win and marked Melbourne's first loss at Suncorp Stadium since 2009.

Remarkably Melbourne's 36 points was the equal-highest score for a losing side in NRL history.

The Gold Coast were due a feel good story.

The Titans' horror injury-ravaged year took another nightmare twist last weekend when co-captain Kevin Proctor became embroiled in a cocaine scandal.

The Storm appeared vulnerable when they lost forwards Jesse Bromwich - also caught in the drug scandal - Christian Welch (knee) and Nelson Asofa-Solomona (hand).

But Melbourne's Big Three - Cameron Smith, Cooper Cronk and Billy Slater - combined to help the Storm lead 18-16 at halftime.

However, Storm coach Craig Bellamy was livid over their poor second-half effort.

"Our guys who I think will be playing Origin were some of out best players - we need the other guys to step up with them," he said.

"We didn't control the ball well. For most of the year we'd made up for it with our defence but tonight it was non-existent.

"We had some lazy players out there tonight."

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