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Titans stun Eels with 26-14 NRL win

NZN 17/03/2017 Laine Clark

Kevin Proctor is wrapped up by Eels defenders. © Chris Hyde/Getty Images Kevin Proctor is wrapped up by Eels defenders. They still had no luck with injuries but a depleted Gold Coast somehow reversed their fortunes, upsetting NRL ladder leaders Parramatta 26-14.

In a stunning boilover, the Titans on Friday night overcame the early loss of winger William Zillman (calf), while nursing a string of walking wounded, to finally notch their first win of the season in the round-three clash in front of 11,612 fans.

Even with Parramatta missing playmaker Corey Norman (hamstring), the stage was set for a David versus Goliath battle at Cbus Super Stadium.

Gold Coast had lined up against the undefeated Eels with 12 of their 30 contracted players injured or unavailable.

They were also reeling from the NRL knocking back a request for recruit, ex-Sydney Roosters centre Dale Copley, to be injected into their depleted backline.

Then, everything really went pear-shaped.

Dan Sarginson (knee) was ruled out before kickoff, forcing a reshuffle that gifted 19-year-old rookie forward Max King a NRL debut off the bench.

And no doubt, Titans coach Neil Henry was looking around for black cats when Zillman lasted just 19 minutes.

Henry had plenty of other anxious moments as centre Konrad Hurrell and Ryan Simpkins came off with head knocks but later passed concussion tests.

The Titans dug deep to notch their first win, ending a five-match losing run stretching back to 2016.

It marked their first home victory since round 20 last year.

To put their injury list in perspective, debutant Tyler Cornish - on just a $3000 part-time contract - filled in for Jarryd Hayne at fullback, before Zillman's injury forced another reshuffle, moving the 22-year-old to the wing.

It looked ominous for the hosts when Parramatta jumped to a 12-0 lead by the 15th minute after tries to halves Clint Gutherson and Jeff Robson, who replaced Norman.

Somehow, Gold Coast levelled at 12-12 by halftime after makeshift centre Chris McQueen (27th minute) burrowed over from dummy-half and Cornish (39th) crashed down the left sideline after brilliant lead-up work by halfback Ash Taylor.

Gutherson's 44th-minute penalty regained the lead for the visitors but, from there, it was all Titans.

Tries to pivot Kane Elgey (51st) and utility Tyrone Roberts (73rd) off Taylor kicks sealed the gutsy win.

Adding injury to insult, Eels hooker Kaysa Pritchard limped off in the 62nd minute.

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