NRL star caught up in homophobic slur controversy

Manly forward Joel Thompson has denied using a homophobic slur in a rant caught on camera as the Titans defeated the Sea Eagles 36-18.

With 12 minutes to go before full time a fired up Thompson was caught on camera giving a piece of his mind.

But social media was divided with many furious after it appeared the Manly star dropped a homophobic slur.

Thompson immediately denied using that sort of language after the game.

"Nah, nah, I definitely didn’t. I was just trying to fire the boys up. It probably looks like that but it wasn’t," he said to the media, according to The Sydney Morning Herald.

"It was definitely directed at the boys. I was just trying to fire them up.

"I don’t think I would have said that. I was just caught up in the moment. It looks bad but it wasn’t.

"I know you are looking for a headline but it wouldn’t have been. It would have just been telling the boys to fire up and make sure we defend our line."

Joel Thompson for the Manly Sea Eagles. (Getty Images)

Gold Coast ease pressure

Cellar dwellers Gold Coast have eased pressure on under-fire coach Garth Brennan with a 36-18 NRL win over Manly as the Sea Eagles' bubble burst at Lottoland on Friday.

Dale Copley scored a hat-trick but five-eighth Tyrone Roberts was the hero, orchestrating the Titan's fightback as they broke a four-game losing streak.

A day earlier, the Titans announced Mal Meninga would undertake a full review of their football department and the side responded with just their third victory of the season to release the pressure valve on Brennan.

"They were just determined to get a result tonight and the board and the review and the stuff that's been made (public) this week, it's not a newsflash to us, that's the industry we're in," Brennan said.

"I've got to focus on what my job is. I don't lie awake worrying about my tenure and my job, if I do that then I lose focus on what my job is and that's to coach the footy team. I lie awake at night thinking of ways to win."

After the the Sea Eagles rushed out to a 12-0 lead, Copley kick-started the fightback before fullback AJ Brimson produced a piece of brilliance when he beat Brendan Elliott to a Roberts grubber by a fingernail to get things back on level pegging.

Halves Roberts - who bagged a double and set up another two - and Ash Taylor were instrumental in the fightback in which the Titans scored 26 unanswered points.

Roberts gave his side the lead when he combined with Taylor before former Sea Eagle Brian Kelly popped a miracle flick pass to give Copley his second.

Taylor then came up with the play of the night when he fired a 25-metre Harbour Bridge pass - which cut out four teammates - to give Copley his third as the Titans went up 26-12.

Brad Parker brought his side back into the contest when he reduced the margin to eight with 15 minutes remaining but Bryce Cartwright and Roberts tries sealed the win.

The Sea Eagles were shaping as the fairytale story of the season after winning six of their previous eight to find themselves entrenched in the top eight, but they were uncharacteristically poor in defence and continually handed opportunities to their opposition.

"I thought we were a little bit down on those effort areas," Manly coach Des Hasler said.

"Our kicking game was a little poor. We didn't give ourselves a chance with field position.

"Possession was ludicrous, we didn't control possession enough. We didn't control possession enough, it was nearly 60-40, it's just not feasible to try and win games off the back of that."