AAP Rugby

Moses guides Eels past sorry Titans in NRL

By AAP Newswire

Parramatta booked their NRL finals berth but coach Brad Arthur wasn't happy, blasting his side's ill-discipline in a 36-12 win which plunged Gold Coast to new lows.

Mitchell Moses provided the composure on Friday night, setting up three tries with kicks to create the decisive buffer and assure their finals spot with three rounds to play.

The visitors also keep alive their top-four hopes but it means a record eighth-consecutive loss for the Titans, who are all but assured of their second wooden spoon.

Arthur praised the leadership of Moses but was filthy with the Eels' lack of patience when things weren't clicking in the first half.

"That's probabaly our most ill-disciplined performance that we've put in this year ... not good enough," the coach said.

"(But Moses was) all about the team. He probably ran more tonight, but the opportunities presented and that composure just filters through the group."

Two Moses bombs and a grubber seemed to have an otherwise improved Titans defence spellbound, with the hosts either spilling their efforts to catch or not attempting at all.

Shaun Lane was the benefactor on one occasion, allowed to catch a bomb unchallenged five metres out before burrowing over.

Moses darted down the right side to put Waqa Blake away. It was the No.7's 29th try assist of the year for a 24-6 lead.

Earlier, Daniel Alvaro scored his first try in almost two years, Brad Takairangi palming back a bomb that eventually found the bustling forward.

Alvaro was promoted to start when Junior Paulo (ankle) was scratched late, while the Titans also shuffled their pack with Jarrod Wallace missing after the mid-week birth of his daughter.

Former NSW State of Origin hooker Nathan Peats started at lock and proved effective alongside No.9 Mitch Rein as the pair combined for 47 first-half tackles.

That allowed them to steady despite Moses' constant aerial threat and Brian Kelly's try meant it was 12-6 at the break.

But Lane's soft try quickly turned the contest in the Eels' favour. It capped a turbulent week during which the forward was investigated by the NRL after photos emerged of him appearing to hold a plastic bag containing a white substance.

"For what offered so much hope or promise in that first 40 minutes ended up a little disappointing in the end," interim Gold Coast coach Craig Hodges said.

"We'd worked so hard at the front of defensive sets ... just let ourselves down on our kick defence."