Gold Coast 14
GOLD COAST: Manly solidified their position at the top of the NRL ladder last night with a second half surge that swamped a gallant Gold Coast side at Skilled Park.
Despite a spirited first half from the injury-ravaged home side, Manly quashed any hopes of an upset by running home the final four tries, including two stunning long-range efforts from David Williams and Brett Stewart.
At the 67th minute, Williams took off from dummy-half on his own line and ran 100m to score an amazing four-pointer after the Titans had been deep in attack.
Eight minutes later Steve Menzies let Stewart take the points after both left a trail of Titans in their wake.
Stewart then put the final nail in the coffin with his second try, seconds before the final hooter.
The result extended Manly's winning streak to five with and dealt another cruel blow to the Titans.
It was the first time they have lost two games in a row at Skilled Park, which has been their fortress.
Playing in front of a home crowd of 21,374, the Titans were without several key players.
State of Origin casualties Scott Prince and Ashley Harrison were added to the Titans' already extensive injury list, which includes Luke Bailey and Aaron Cannings.
But backing up after his appearance for NSW in Origin III, Anthony Laffranchi was a shining light for the home side, scoring their only two tries.
Facing a similar slide to the one they experienced at the midway point of last season, the Titans came out firing and opened the scoring in the ninth minute to give the Sea Eagles an early warning.
Manly held a delicate 12-6 lead at halftime but, after the Titans had briefly led 14-12, turned on the power after the break with four unanswered tries _ the first to five-eighth Jamie Lyon _ from the 63rd minute.