The future of the St George Illawarra Dragons is bright, but that will provide little comfort to the side after a heartbreaking Magic Round defeat.
The side's young guns all made an impact, however it was not enough to secure a win over the Gold Coast.
The Titans were sloppy throughout the match, making a number of errors in extremely wet conditions at Suncorp Stadium.
The Dragons were unable to put the game to bed, Gold Coast scoring late to send the game into extra time.
The rain only worsened throughout golden point, both sides struggling to maintain possession.
Eventually a Talatau Amone error proved the decisive mistake, the five-eighth unable to dive on a rolling ball.
A set play from the ensuing scrum was all the Titans needed to hit the front, Jamayne Isaako scoring in the 88th minute to secure a 20-16 win.
St George Illawarra coach Anthony Griffin was proud of his side's effort, but conceded they must learn how to close games out.
"We took a real beating in the first 25 minutes," Griffin said. "They had 14-15 sets to our 3-4. That probably drained us a lot but I couldnt have been prouder of the effort to go back and get control of that game in the second half.
"We dominated the second half but we found a way to keep inviting them back in. It should've gone to eight, we should've controlled the ball, then you get beat by a fingernail in the 90th minute.
"It's a hard one to swallow. I've got no questions about out effort, but we need to get better."
While captain Ben Hunt led with a steady hand, the match provided Dragons fans with a glimpse of the future.
Emerging youngsters Amone, Tyrell Sloan, Mat Feagai, Jayden Sullivan and Moses Suli all made an impact throughout the contest.
As expected, Sloan stepped into the fullback role, with Moses Mbye shifting to hooker in place of the injured Andrew McCullough.
The Titans peppered the youngster throughout the match, throwing up a number of challenging bombs.
Sloan threatened with ball in hand and was largely solid at the back. He was, however, caught out a couple of times and a brief moment of hesitation contributed to Gold Coast's second try.
The youngster also made a key error in golden point, Sloan fortunate the Titans were not able to make him pay.
It was not a happy affair for milestone man Josh McGuire, the forward's 250th game quickly turning into a nightmare.
The veteran was sin binned during the first half before a groin injury brought his night to an end at half-time.
The Dragons were left to rue poor discipline throughout the opening 40, the Titans' two first-half tries a direct result of St George Illawarra penalties.
The second was particularly poor, all the momentum with Griffin's team before the side jumped offside in the rush to pin Gold Coast on their own line.
Perhaps most frustrating for the coach was the period of play Beau Fermor try came on the back of, St George Illawarra fighting gamely to withstand a Titans onslaught throughout the opening 20 before wrestling back control of the match and levelling the scores through Mat Feagai.
All that hard work was undone by ill discipline and a lack of desperation to dive on a loose ball at the other end of the field.
Discipline cost the Dragons again early in the second half, a Suli try wiped off the board for obstruction after Jack Bird took out a defender.
This time, however, the error did not prove costly, a Phillip Sami knock on putting St George Illawarra straight back on the attack.
The Dragons were finally able to make the most of their second-half dominance, Jack de Belin crashing over before Zac Lomax levelled the scores at 10-10.
The centre put his side in front with 14 minutes to play when he nailed a penalty goal from the sideline.
Suli was not to be denied in the 69th minute, however a missed conversation ensured Gold Coast remained in the contest.
With the door ajar, the Titans came crashing through, Jarrod Wallace barging over from close range to level the scores in the 75th minute.
From there, golden point became a certainty, neither team able to strike in the dying minutes.
The deadlock continued deep into the second period of extra time, Isaako the hero for his side.
Sports reporter at the Illawarra Mercury
Sports reporter at the Illawarra Mercury
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