Titans veteran Kieran Foran scored the first hat-trick of his career and rookie winger Alofiana Khan-Pereira has also earned a slice of history against the Bulldogs.
Canterbury flyer Josh Addo-Carr produced a sensational solo try to drag en route to his own hat-trick, but the Gold Coast will win this one and lead 34-24 after 75 minutes.
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Canterbury had the better of the chances in the opening exchanges but they couldn’t turn possession into points on the Gold Coast.
Foran then burst through the middle of the field from 20 metres out in the 14th minute and left defenders clutching at air as he scored under the posts.
Foran made it a rare double – the fifth of his NRL career – when he threw a dummy and sliced past Viliame Kikau to score again in the 22nd minute.
“He’s in a running mood this afternoon… he took off again,, the show and the go and he goes over,” Steve Roach said on Fox League.
“Just not doing his job in defence there, really poor from Viliame Kikau,” Corey Parker said.
Bulldogs winger Josh Addo-Carr dragged his side back into the contest in the 34th with a sensational 70-metre solo try.
Addo-Carr burnt Aaron Schoupp on the outside and he then beat two more defenders with sheer speed and footwork.
“The Foxx beats everybody, Josh Addo-Carr just way too much speed there for Aaron Schoupp. It’s a real mismatch and he was always at some stage going to be under pressure in this game and the old Foxx unseats him quite convincingly,” Warren Smith said.
“What a try to get them back in the game, some individual brilliance,” Roach said.
But Titans fullback then showed off his own blistering pace to score on the stroke of halftime.
“He just explodes onto the ball and then has the footwork to beat the fullback,” Roach said.
The Bulldogs scored the first try of the second half when Blake Wilson reeled in a bomb then popped it out the back for Kurtis Morrin to cross in the corner.
But Foran clinched his hat-trick with another dummy, this time to David Fifita, to score again in the 54th minute.
Foran celebrated his first trifecta of tries after 282 NRL games wildly as his teammates swamped him.
Addo-scored his second with another strong solo effort down the left wing to cross in the 60th minute.
Canterbury No. 6 Matt Burton looked to have locked up the scores when he barged over in the 63rd minute, but he lost it while trying to ground the ball.
Titans forward Kruise Leeming scored from close range after backing up a Brimson break in ther 65th minute.
Gold Coast winger Alofiana Khan-Pereira then scored the 20th try of his rookie season to seal the result in the 69th minute.
The 21-year-old became the fifth player to score 20 tries in his rookie season in the NRL era, joining Suliasi Vunival, Maika Sivo, Alex Johnston and Israel Folau.
Khan-Pereira’s tally is also the most tries scored in a season by a Titans player.
Addo-Carr completed his hat-trick in the 72nd minute with another long-range effort to finish his season with 11 tries.
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After a tough week for the club, the Bulldogs will be keen to respond with a strong performance in their last game of the season when they travel to the Gold Coast to take on the Titans.
The Bulldogs are in crisis after reports of a player walking out on the club due to a brutal training punishment with coach Cameron Ciraldo subsequently criticised and having to publicly defend his coaching methods.
The fact the Bulldogs have won just six games from 23 this season hasn’t helped, considering the expectations the team would at least contest for a top eight spot this season due to a number of new signings.
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Tevita Pangai Jr Junior, who announced he is quitting rugby league to take up boxing, has played his last game for the club. He comes out of the side that lost to Manly last week as does Harrison Edwards with Kurtis Morrin and Sam Hughes the new faces on the bench.
The Titans will also be keen to end 2023 on a high note after a somewhat disappointing year.
Their previous coach Justin Holbrook was sacked mid-season when the team was on the cusp of the eight. Since then, they haven’t recovered and can finish no higher than 13th on the ladder.
Chris Randall, Isaac Liu and Jojo Fifita are out of the Titans side, with Mo Fotuaika and Iszac Fa’asuamaleaui returning to the line up.