Bulldogs add to Titans woes

An unconvincing display from the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs today has seen them get home ten-point winners over the struggling Gold Coast Titans, a 30-20 win for the visitors at Skilled Park with 14,344 fans in attendance.

The Bulldogs dominated field position early, but the Titans were the team that put points on the board early. Tries to Greg Bird and Brenton Lawrence were just the tonic for a tough news week on the glitter strip. Prince's inability to convert each try meant only an eight-point lead early for the Gold Coast, which opened up the opportunity for Canterbury to hit back - which they did through Ben Barba. Some perfect offloads and good support play saw the 'Dogs on the ball and Barba with another four-pointer.

In a second half with plenty of action, the Bulldogs conceded possession from the kickoff, with the Prince-kicked ball hitting the post and coming back into the Titans' possession. From that set, Kevin Gordon went over in the corner - and the Titans were ten in front.

The Bulldogs then launched a stunning comeback in the minutes before halftime - with first Josh Reynolds taking advantage of some lazy Luke Bailey tackling to keep running and score his second try of the season - before some Ben Barba brilliance from his own in-goal saw him sprint 50 metres, turning it inside to Josh Morris who ran the remaining 50.

Steve Turner's goalkicking proved the distance by the halftime siren - the 'Dogs led 18-14. The second half was a much calmer affair - the Titans reclaimed the lead by 50 minutes through Nate Myles close to the line, before the Bulldogs hit back with a four-pointer for Frank Pritchard, who bustled over thanks to a great Corey Payne offload. The Bulldogs carried the four point lead til the 75th minute before quick hands saw Steve Turner cross in the corner.

Whilst unimpressive, it gives the Bulldogs their fourth win from five matches this season and consigns the Titans to a share of last position. The Bulldogs will play South Sydney in an "away" clash at ANZ Stadium at 4pm on Good Friday next week, while the Titans are at home for the fourth time in the opening six rounds on Saturday night when the Roosters come to visit.

Match Details
Gold Coast Titans 20 were defeated by Canterbury Bulldogs 30
National Rugby League - Round 5 - Sunday April 1, 2012 2:00pm
Venue: Skilled Park
Referees: Gerard Sutton and Gavin Badger
Video Referee: Bernard Sutton
Touch Judges: Steve Carrall and Peter Gough
Crowd: 14,344
Halftime: Gold Coast Titans 14 Canterbury Bulldogs 18

Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:
3 Points - Ben Barba (1 Try)
2 Points - Scott Prince (2 Conversions)
1 Point - Josh Reynolds (1 Try)

Gold Coast Titans (20)
Tries: Nate Myles, Greg Bird, Kevin Gordon, Brenton Lawrence
Conversions: Scott Prince (2/4)

Canterbury Bulldogs (30)
Tries: Frank Pritchard, Steve Turner, Ben Barba, Josh Morris, Josh Reynolds
Conversions: Steve Turner (5/5)

LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary The embattled Titans are all set to host a Bulldogs side looking to bounce back after a disappointing loss to Newcastle last week. After an opening round win, the Titans have looked like a beaten side every week, while the Bulldogs have looked the goods right up until last week's loss.
Kickoff is 2pm - we can confirm the team changes... for the Titans, Jordan Rankin, Ben Ridge and Michael Henderson are OUT - Scott Prince (#20) will return at halfback, with Luke O'Dwyer to start in place of Mark Minichiello (bench) in the forwards. The Bulldogs are 1-17. See the team lists tab above for details.
A HUGE win for the Canterbury side in Toyota Cup, it was a 60-20 win, the Bulldogs never looking troubled.
Absolutely perfect conditions for footy this arvo, if not a bit warm. Both sides here in their regular home jerseys, the Titans aqua & blue with the Bulldogs white and blue. Kickoff a few minutes away now.
A moment's silence for Matt Barclay, the young teenager who tragically lost his life at the Australian Surf Lifesaving Championships earlier this week.
Underway, Bulldogs receive the first possession.
1 min: Impressive early metres from Canterbury, moving it left and making metres into the Titans half.
3 min: Sam Kasiano absolutely smashes Steve Michaels on tackle two inside his own 10m zone.
4 min: A crazy passage of play sees the Titans spread it on the last on their own 20m, speed up the left, kick in field... Barba loses the pill and the Titans have it back!!
6 min: TRY
TRY Gold Coast Titans
Scored by Greg Bird. Conversion attempt by Scott Prince unsuccessful.
The bomb goes up from Prince, down the left and it's batted back... Greg Bird, he's in over in the corner! Titans draw first blood after absorbing all the pressure. Prince misses from the sideline.
Gold Coast Titans 4-0
8 min: An awkward bomb scares Ben Barba, the bounce fooling him but he captures it in broken field and gets it back into the field of play.
9 min: The Bulldogs with the first penalty of the afternoon with the Titans just not back the ten.
12 min: End to end stuff in the last few minutes, both teams happy to play out their five tackles and kick down the park. Warm conditions out.
15 min: TRY
TRY Gold Coast Titans
Scored by Brenton Lawrence. Conversion attempt by Scott Prince successful.
The Titans with another early try - the Bulldogs didn't play the whistle and Brenton Lawrence picks up a 'Dogs knock on, plays advantage and runs 40 metres to score. Prince converts. Ten point lead.
Gold Coast Titans 10-0
17 min: Nate Myles held up over the line on the last tackle. Bulldogs handover 10m out from their own line.
18 min: The Titans first error of the night gives the Bulldogs the ball on halfway.
19 min: Nothing doing on the last from Kris Keating, his air-ball to the corner goes over the touchline. Titans scrum.
23 min: TRY
TRY Canterbury Bulldogs
Scored by Ben Barba. Conversion attempt by Steve Turner successful.
Brilliant bust then a draw and pass puts Ben Barba in under the posts and the 'Dogs look switched on all of a sudden. Turner makes no mistake. Meanwhile, Romelo is on for Ennis after just twenty minutes.
Gold Coast Titans 10-6
26 min: TRY
TRY Gold Coast Titans
Scored by Kevin Gordon. Conversion attempt by Scott Prince unsuccessful.
Well the kickoff has hit the post and the Titans have the ball! They spread it wide a tackle later and Kevin Gordon SCORES! What a bizarre passage of play! Prince's conversion attempt hits the post.
Gold Coast Titans 14-6
28 min: Not a lot doing for Canterbury, poor discipline from Romelo gives the Titans a penalty.
29 min: The Titans spill it through Luke Douglas on their own line... then concede a penalty. Chance for Canterbury to hit back now...
31 min: Nope - Reynolds hasn't found touch. This isn't a good performance from the Bulldogs today.
33 min: TRY
TRY Canterbury Bulldogs
Scored by Josh Reynolds. Conversion attempt by Steve Turner successful.
That old "play the whistle" chestnut again - Luke Bailey doesn't wrap up Josh Reynolds who keeps running and gets the try! Turner converts, margin down to two.
Gold Coast Titans 14-12
37 min: TRY
TRY Canterbury Bulldogs
Scored by Josh Morris. Conversion attempt by Steve Turner successful.
Titans put it in-goal... Barba looks trapped - he gets out... he's away! HE'S IN SPACE! No he's covered... BUT GETS IT AWAY! Morris is the man...TRY! Bulldogs take the lead.... Turner converts.
Canterbury Bulldogs 18-14
38 min: Kickoff off the posts again! Titans ball!
40 min: The 'Dogs hold their opponents out. It's HALFTIME... and stunningly the Bulldogs are leading! The Titans have dominated from the early stages and it's only been through sheer long-range brilliance the Bulldogs have managed to peg the Titans back, before the amazing Josh Morris try just before the break put the visitors 18-14 in front. There must be a magnet in the goalposts at Skilled - two Titans kickoffs have hit the woodwork and given the Titans possession! Exciting stuff and anything could happen after the break. Stay with us!
41 min: Play resumes at Skilled, Titans first set - they put it high for Steve Turner who takes it well looking into the sun.
43 min: Bulldogs with the first penalty of the half, Josh Morris caught high. Ben Barba already looking more confident under the high ball compared to the first half.
47 min: Ill discipline cruelling the Titans, the Bulldogs with a couple of chances to attack, but both have finished poorly for the 'Dogs.
48 min: Penalty Titans as the Bulldogs are caught on the back foot. Superb run by Bailey running a quick tap...
50 min: TRY
TRY Gold Coast Titans
Scored by Nate Myles. Conversion attempt by Scott Prince successful.
Nate Myles scores as the Titans kept rolling over the Bulldogs, who never gave themselves the opportunity to get set. Prince converts for the home side to reclaim the lead.
Gold Coast Titans 20-18
53 min: VIDEO REFEREE possible Bulldogs try to Frank Pritchard. Looks good...
53 min: TRY
TRY Canterbury Bulldogs
Scored by Frank Pritchard. Conversion attempt by Steve Turner successful.
Frank Pritchard carries a few defenders over the Skilled Park tryline, the Bulldogs reclaim the lead in this topsy-turvy contest. Turner adds two more.
Canterbury Bulldogs 24-20
63 min: INJURY: Greg Bird off. Not looking good for him, a foot injury in prospect.
64 min: This one has definitely evolved into more of a fluent arm-wrestle with both teams a bit more patient with the ball and less broken play football. Bulldogs attacking now.
66 min: TRY
TRY Canterbury Bulldogs
Scored by Steve Turner. Conversion attempt by Steve Turner successful.
Reynolds slips before the line on the last, gets up, draws defenders and throws it out to Stagg... now out to Wright, the overlap is there - Turner in the corner! Now to convert his own try... perfect from the sideline!
Canterbury Bulldogs 30-20
68 min: Reynolds and Prince exchanging words mid-field, eventually separated. Bulldogs on the front foot with this ten point lead...
70 min: Last tackle, Bulldogs trap Zillman, line dropout.
70 min: Bulldogs error, Titans scrum inside their own 20m.
73 min: Bulldogs error gives the Titans the ball.... Kayne Lawton is IN! No - he's held up!
74 min: Ben Barba has pulled off the best trysaving tackle in a long, long time - Bailey has come up with an easy looking try but Barba has stopped the ball touching the ground. No try from the Video Referee!
76 min: After forcing repeat sets, the Titans kick it dead through Prince, which looked like an intended bomb. Bulldogs off the hook and seemingly home now.
79 min: Calm collected grubber for the northwestern corner from Kris Keating, just over a minute remaining to see out for the visitors, who'll jump back into second with this victory.
80 min: Kayne Lawton pulls his hamstring. Dear oh dear.
80 min: That's all she wrote. The Bulldogs have come home winners in an unconvincing performance, while the Titans have slumped to one from five.

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