Brian Kelly played a big part in the Titans first win of the NRL season on Sunday night. Photo Dave Hunt.
Brian Kelly played a big part in the Titans first win of the NRL season on Sunday night. Photo Dave Hunt.

Kelly puts controversy aside, plays key role in Titans win

A MOVE to the wing has paid dividends for Ballina product Brian Kelly after he helped the Titans to their first NRL win of the season.

Kelly scored the Titans only try against North Queensland last week and scored another before he laid on the matchwinning try in a 28-23 win over the Wests Tigers on Sunday night.

With the Tigers ahead 23-22 following a Benji Marshall field goal, five-eighth Ash Taylor was in no position to land a field goal of his own so he spun it Kelly who kicked for a flying Phillip Sami to score the matchwinner with two minutes remaining.

Kelly has played in all 27 games for the Titans since switching from Manly last season with Sunday’s win the first for the team in 364 days.

“To move the ball out for Brian Kelly to put that kick in and for Phil (to score) was great,” Titans coach Justin Holbrook said.

“Ad lib is great for our game and it was great to come up with that.

“It is great that we showed that resilience and the way we went about it is great for our character.

“To get off the mark was great and in that fashion even better.”

Kelly was no certainty to start this season when the competition resumed on May 28.

He missed a week of training in a shortened pre-season when he initially refused to take a flu shot.

Flu shot or footy career? Ballina NRL star’s big decision

He was originally left out of the side for the Cowboys game and was a late inclusion on the wing.

It could be his new home after playing three seasons at Manly and Gold Coast in the centre position.

Ballina junior Tyrone Roberts has also changed positions this season and is expected to play at fullback instead of five-eighth.

He has been named there the last two weeks but has pulled out late from both games with an ongoing ankle injury.


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