Head referee Matt Noyen was forced off the field midway during the first half due after tweaking his hamstring as he attempted to keep up with the play.
Titans fullback AJ Brimson caught Manly players napping after they coughed up a seven tackle set.
As the Manly defenders were walking back to the defensive line, Brimson went for the quick tap and caught them all off guard as he raced away and scored under the posts.
Referee Noyen was unfortunately the unlucky victim as he pulled up with a hamstring injury while trying to keep up with the pace of Brimson.
« Matt Noyen looks like he’s hurt himself here, drama at Lottoland! » Commentator Dan Ginnane told Fox League.
The Gold Coast Titans will welcome back captain Kevin Proctor from suspension on Saturday against Manly.
Centre Brian Kelly will wait another week to his return from an ankle injury, with Treymain Spry retaining his spot in the centres in his fourth NRL appearance.
Eighth Immortal Andrew Johns said in previewing today’s clash between the Sea Eagles and Titans that if the NSW Blues star was to play, he’ll be the difference.
Brad Fittler agreed, and said the stats say Manly most-likely only need 14 points to defeat Gold Coast.
« If you score 14 points you beat the Titans – that’s since round four or five. They can’t defend more than 14 points at the moment, » Fittler said.
Trbojevic’s brother Jake told Fox Sports before kick-off that Tom was « very excited » to be playing again after a hamstring injury had him miss much of the 2020 NRL season.
« It’s been a frustrating three months for him. It’s exciting he makes his return today, » he said.
« It’s a little bit too late for our season, which is disappointing, but it’s great to have him back out here.
« I think he gives our team a lot of confidence. You can’t expect too much. He’s just got to work into it. »
Unfortunately the third Trbojevic brother Ben will have to wait for his NRL debut, after missing out on the final squad for Saturday.
« But I still think it’s good experience for him being 18th-19th man today. He’ll get his opportunity one day. »
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