The Gold Coast Titans under-20s have fallen to their seventh successive loss after going down 23-10 to the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs at Cbus Super Stadium today.
The injury-ravaged young Titans, who have a string of starting players sidelined, started the game the better of the two sides with a strong opening stanza to score two tries and take a 10-4 half-time lead.
The Titans had multiple opportunities in the opening minutes of the second-half to extend their lead but were unable to get across the line and with the momentum swinging in the Bulldogs’ favour, the visitors posted back-to-back tries to take a 16-10 lead going into the final minutes of the match.
The Bulldogs continued their second-half dominance by keeping the Titans scoreless before halfback Guy Hamilton slotted a field-goal and utility Alexander Sorge scored in the minutes to give the Bulldogs the 23-10 win.
The team’s injury woes looked to continue when co-skipper Parahi Wilson was escorted off after just nine minutes with a knee injury after being bent back in a tackle. He was replaced by Brett Stratton with Josh Berkers going to the back row. However by half-time Wilson was back on the bench, looking right to return to the fray.
The Titans were the first to score in the 16th minute through a brilliant split by Karl Lawton at dummy half 40 metres from the Bulldogs line. He beat three defenders to score to the right of the posts but Shaun Hudson missed the conversion leaving the Titans lead at 4-0.
The Bulldogs equalised nine minutes from half-time when left centre Ruebenn Rennie took three players over the line from close range. Brad Keighran missed the conversion to leave the game tied up at 4-all.
It took only two minutes for the Titans to hit the lead again when Daymeric Pelo barged over from five metres after the Bulldogs had made an error in the first set from the kick-off. Hudson converted from in front to give the Titans a 10-4 half-time lead.
The second-half turned into an arm-wrestle with both sides trading attacking raids but it took until the 60th minute for the Bulldogs to break the deadlock with some quick hands on the open side leading to Marcelo Montoya crossing out wide. Keighran added the extras from the sideline to tie the game up at 10-all going into the final 20 minutes.
The Bulldogs turned defence into attack to post back-to-back tries after collecting a Titans grubber kick on their own 10-metre line before Hamilton raced downfield to score untouched under the posts, giving Keighran an easy conversion and the visitors a 16-10 lead.
The Bulldogs stretched their lead out beyond a converted try in the 71st minute with Hamilton calmly slotting a field goal for a 17-10 lead.
The Titans attempted a short kick-off but were unable to retrieve the ball giving the Bulldogs prime attacking position and they capitalised through utility Sorge who sliced his way through the defence to score adjacent to the posts. Keighran added the extras to give the side the 23-10 victory.
The Titans will look to hit back next week when they take on the New Zealand Warriors at Cbus Super Stadium.
Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 23 (R Rennie, M Montoya, G Hamilton, A Sorge tries; B Keighran 3 goals; G Hamilton field goal) defeated Gold Coast Titans 10 (K Lawton, D Pelo tries; S Hudson goal)