Gold Coast Titans move into the top eight after a comfortable 34-6 success against a battered Canterbury Bulldogs side tonight at Suncorp Stadium.
Back-to-back results have moved the Titans into the top eight after they ran in six tries to one led by mercurial five-eighth Ash Taylor and livewire fullback AJ Brimson that has bolstered their hopes of a finals charge.
Before the season Gold Coast were touted as one of the sides which would make the leap into the top eight. They have been more up-and-down than border restrictions across the country but might have timed their run perfectly. The Titans can pile on the points but the thing that coach Justin Holbrook will enjoy is only 10 and six conceded in the last fortnight after some huge scores racked up against them.
Coming off their 22-point success against the Dragons, Titans started the contest on the front foot with talisman Taylor kicking a 40/20 in the first ten minutes before they opened the scoring through one of their off-season splurges in Tino Fa'asuamaleaui from close range.
From there, the Titans opened up their shoulders and charged out to a 16-nil lead at the break. Brimson was a nuisance through the middle of the field which set up Esan Marsters to touch down before centre Brian Kelly raced through off a Taylor kick to complete the advantage.
Titans kept their foot on the throat after half-time, testing out the Bulldogs backline which had been prone to errors in the first half. Greg Marzhew took the Titans past 20 points when he was on the spot for a rebounded kick as the Titans looked to repair their disastrous for-and-against to help their finals chase.
Tonight was a game where Ash Taylor stood up and might have shown he wants the five-eighth spot alongside youngster Toby Sexton. Taylor was direct and purposeful with his kicking which trapped the Bulldogs several times. Taylor also started the break for his own four-pointer which featured Brimson.
Bulldogs are just playing out the string until the end of 2021 and look forward to a much more exciting 2022, hopefully. There was some consolation in the side not being kept to nil again after hooker Bailey Biondi-Odo scurried over to make it 34-6. It is almost certain they will now end the season with the wooden spoon.
Finishing off the contest in style, Titans pulled out the party tricks to make it 34-nil. Some wonderful displays of passing opened up the field before it ended up with Kelly again, who strolled over for his double. Gold Coast Titans now sit in seventh position headed into the final month of the season.