The Gold Coast Titans suffered a tough 22-16 loss to the Canterbury Bulldogs at Cbus Super Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
After taking a 16-12 lead into the half-time break, the Titans failed to go on with the match and the Bulldogs ran them down registering two second-half tries to come away with the two competition points.
We’ve dissected the loss and highlighted six key features of the match:
Wallace leads from the front – With Origin just around the corner, Jarrod Wallace was a man possessed and put in a performance which would see his chances of earning a Queensland jersey go well up. The prop-forward led the way from up-front in the opening half to get the Titans over the advantage line, running over 100 metres within the opening 20 minutes. He ran for over 200 metres for the contest with 22 hit-ups, 27 tackles and produced three offloads. Wallace also looked to have set-up a try which would have equalled the scores in the 77th minute after a charge-down but the referee ruled a knock-on as he tried to clean up the ball.
Arrow Fires – Similarly to Wallace, the Titans most consistent player, Jai Arrow put in another stellar performance to all-but secure his spot in the Queensland side with 145 running metres and a mammoth 31 tackles in defence. The lock also displayed some of his attacking skills to play had a hand in the Titans first try with some crafty play down the blind side creating an overlay for Daley Copley to score in the corner. He was his usual
Brian the Brute – Better known for his attacking prowess, centre Brian Kelly produced some heavy hitting in a dominant defensive display which forced two crucial Bulldogs errors within the opening ten minutes. The first coming on the much larger man Dylan Napa put the side on the attack and they capitalised with Copley crossing for his first. The second on Will Hopoate led to a scrum eventuating in Copley’s second-try.
A double for Dale – the ever-reliable Dale Copley managed to knock-up career try number 50 and 51 with a first-half double. Copley kick-started the Titans scoring by crossing in just the fourth minute before doubling down to register his second just minutes later by showing true determination to get across the line and give his side a 12-0 lead.
Ash Taylor’s boot – With usual goal-kicker Michael Gordon out injured, the goal-kicking duties fell to Ash Taylor and the halfback was on song with the boot slotting two conversions and two penalty-goals. Unfortunately, he missed a crucial kick to put the side out beyond a converted try but it mattered little at the end with the Bulldogs posting two late tries.
Ball control and discipline – After an error-riddled performance last week, the Titans were much better this week. Despite the loss, coach Garth Brennan must be happy with the side completing at an 86% for the match. Their early possession and completion was evident with the home-side scooting out to a 14-0 lead after 14 minutes on the back of a 92% rate. There is still work to be done with the side making some errors at crucial times in the contest.
The Titans will head to Lottoloand to take on the Manly Sea-Eagles next Friday night.