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Live: Titans v Bulldogs

The Bulldogs bounce back strongly from their loss to Newcastle last week to pour more misery on the Gold Coast Titans, beating them 30-20 after being down 10-0 early in the contest.

Ben Barba was a sensational today. On a dry track, his brilliant footwork and speed was too much for the Titans and he was the engineer of their comeback after the Gold Coast came out of the sheds like a freight train. That's win four from five for Des Hasler's side.

It's another loss but there's no shame for the Titans. They played with enormous heart this afternoon and were in fact held up three times over the line, once late in the game when Barba stopped Luke Bailey with an astounding one-on-one effort. Almost 15,000 fans made for a good vibe at Skilled Park and finances aside, on that evidence there's a future for football on the beaches.

Best player Ben Barba.

Key moment Just as the Titans were building their way back into the game, Barba somehow held up Luke Bailey to end any hope of a Gold Coast triumph. Classic triumph of little man on big man.

Numbers game The Titans needed a vote of confidence from the fans and the got one. A crowd of 14,433 was pretty decent for a strange 2pm kickoff and they made plenty of noise. That's encouraging, at least, for a club on the brink.

What it all means The Bulldogs showed class and professionalism to withstand an early assault to take control of the game through bold attack and concerted pressure. The Titans went pretty close today and you'd expect a win isn't far away if they continue to play with that sort of attitude.

FULLTIME Bulldogs 30 Titans 20.

78th min More pressure for the Titans but it comes to no avail. Prince's kick goes miles over the dead-all line on the full and that's the end of this one, if it wasn't before. But the Gold Coast can hold their head high today - they showed plenty of fight and if people in this town can't get out and support that, they really don't deserve a rugby league team. The Dogs are going to close this one out.

75th min The Titans get another penalty and need to score on this set, as in cross the line and actually get the ball down. Throwing it around everywhere at the moment, which almost worked last time. Kick cleaned up by the Dogs and they'll drop it out. And they are in noooooooo hurry. Bulldogs lead 30-20.

73rd min Too early to call this one maybe. The Titans aren't giving up and Kane Lawnton goes over and is held up. That's the second time today for the Gold Coast. Still in a great spot to attack though and it's guts or glory now. Amazing stuff! O'Dwyer puts through a completely ridiculous grubber when he had no options at all and big Luke Bailey is the only man in sight! Runs through and goes over under the posts. But Barba has held him up one-on-one, little man on big man. That's the game right there. Brilliant play from Barba. How did he do that?

70th min Some tension out there now.Prince facing off with two or three players at one point before realising his folly. The Dogs just clinical now, forcing a dropout and you'd almost have to almost be close to calling this one. In other news, reports through that Sam Burgess has gone down with a serious injury against the Tigers. Bad news for Souths. And Souths fans. Like me. Sadly. Crowd is 14,433 here today, which is pretty decent for a weird 2pm kickoff.

66th min Trouble now for the Titans as Steve Corner goes over in the corner. It's a TRY for the Bulldogs and they lead 28-20. They're steadily grinding out this match. Kicks a beauty as well that takes it to 30-20.

64th min Close call their for the Dogs! The Gold Coast went close a few times in that set before Bird's kick was charged down. He's in some trouble though Bird and his right shin looks to have taken a very bad knock. Getting carried off the field now and that's bad news for the Titans. He's been their best player. His leg swung straight into the shin of Corey Payne and the replays look nasty. Potential break for Bird perhaps.

62nd min The Titans lose it midfield. Looked like it had a bit of help to me as it came rocketing out of the tackle but the Dogs return the favour the Gold Coast get a scrum of their own. Karma perhaps. Bulldogs lead 24-20.

60th min Ash Harrison avoids a missile there from Sam Kasiano, who launched himself into the shoulder charge. But the Queensland lock forward was good enough to see that contact coming and spin away, making a good run in the process. Fundamentals now key for the Titans and the need to put the Bulldogs under pressure in their own end. A good kick from Prince does just that. Dogs 24 Titans 20.

55th min Turner knocks over the extras with minimum fuss and the score is 24-20 in favour od the Bulldogs. The Titans paid badly for that mistake in their own 30m zone.

53rd min Eastwood buried his shoulder in Gordon then. Good tackle and the Titans cough it up very next play. That's not good enough as the 'Bulldogs' chant goes around the ground and the Dogs crash over. It's gone upstairs to see if Pritchard grounded that. Body language says no but that's going to be a TRY! Enough Steeden on the deck there to warrant a green light and there it goes. Bulldogs take a 22-20 lead, kick to come.

51st min Kick is good and the Titans take the lead 20-18. Wests Tigers v Souths about to rumble into life in Sydney. My colleague Chris Barrett has the live call there today so split the screen and enjoy the show.

48th min Hell of a game here. Zillman makes a great run from his own line and almost skips clear, then Luke Bailey sprints 25m off a quick tap as the Dogs took a nap. But Pritchard slowed things down as he belted Bird but now Nate Myles goes over! TRY for the Titans as he finishes a length of the field sweep. Great football and it's 18-all.

45th min The Dogs through a bit at them there but the Titans hold on and scramble well. Gordon ends up grabbing the loose ball and the Gold Coast avoid an early blow. They're four behind as they make a mistake in midfield and turn it over.

42nd min Players back out as the shadows start to creep across the field. Early penalty to the Bulldogs and they're about to get a good chance to extend their lead. Titans need to show some resolve in defence here. I's 18-14 to the Bulldogs.

Halftime bullets....

  • The Titans needed to start with energy and they did just that. Given the turmoil surrounding the club, the players needed to deliver something emphatic and it's been very hard to fault their intent so far.
  • At 10-0, the Titans were in control and getting some luck to boot. The Dogs would have been in trouble if they conceded another try to nil but Ben Barba has been their spark. Set up a try and scored another to start a brilliant comeback.
  • Canterbury have the edge, having taken the Gold Coast's best shots and still leading at the break. But the Titans have shown they are highly motivated today and need a very bright start in the second half. They've turned up and aren't out of this by any means.

HALFTIME Bulldogs 18 Titans 14.

39th min Zillman hits the posts - again - off the restart and the Bulldogs knock on in the scuffle for the ball. Incredible. Titans get the gift of another great attacking position. But the pass goes to ground and it's a Bulldogs scrum.

36th min What a TRY! The Dogs go 100m and score! Josh Morris goes in after the break from Barba. The little fullback is on fire. Stood up three players in his own in-goal and ran 50m down the left touchline. Great chase from Will Zillman drags him in but he squeezes the pass off to Morris, who gallops away. Sensational football. The Dogs lead 18-14. Can't fault the ticket price today. Plenty of action.

33rd min TRY to the Dogs. Josh Reynolds goes over under the posts and they get some luck at last. Luke Bailey looked to have him but he fell off the tackle, Reynolds gets up and runs over under the sticks. The Titans are furious, the home crowd hates it but that's fair enough. It's 14-12 to the Gold Coast. Pretty good game going on here.

30th min Nothing working for the Dogs. They get a relieving penalty as Eastwood is held down in the tackle but fail to find touch and are under the pump once again. They've had some bad luck this half but have nobody to blame for that one. No breeze to speak of here today. The Titans bomb is fumbled though so the Dogs go back to the 10m line and start to work their way out. Titans lead 14-6.

28th min Conversion from the edge of the park hits the post (is there some sort of bonus for that today?) and it remains 14-6 as Mark Minichiello takes the field for the Gold Coast. He started off the bench today with Luke O'Dwyer preferred in the second row.

25th min What about that! Zillman's restart slams into the posts and the Titans regain and are suddenly in prime attacking position. Could be their afternoon yet. And they go over with a TRY to Kevin Gordon in the corner. Great vision from Prince as he fires a 20m cutout to his winger and sends him over for the major. IT's 14-6. Way to snuff out a Dogs comeback.

23rd min They got some territory and get a TRY. The Dogs are in as Keating sets up Pritchard who puts Barba under the posts. Opened up a little too easy then but that's much better football from the blue and white. It's 10-6. Good strikeback and somewhat against the run of play.

20th min Not brilliant from the Dogs there. Kris Keating puts the cross-field kick to Steve Turner who doesn't ncontest the football at all and just watches it sail over the sideline. I have no idea why attacking teams put up bombs then fail to try and regain them. Turner there content to hope the Titans made the mistake so he stood and stared at his opposite number, who stood and stared as the ball went safely into touch. Bulldogs fail. Titans lead 10-0.

17th min The Dogs under seige like Steven Seagal here. Nate Myles crashes over under the posts but Ben Barba does brilliantly to hold him up. One-way traffic and not many people saw this coming this afternoon, with the Dogs heavy favourites. It's 10-0 to the locals who are dominating the rucks and playing fast and flowing football. It's pretty to watch.

13th min TRY to the Gold Coast. Brenton Lawrence streaks away and beats Josh Morris in a foot race to score under the sticks. Terrible error from Michael Ennis and the Titans are owning this one. The Dogs are crumbling under some intense pressure and need to find a way to settle and get in this game. Great stuff Titans and it's 10-0.

11th min Got to like what I've seen from the Titans so far. They've been on a hiding to nothing but have a good crowd at their back today and are playing like a club that has something to prove. They need to maintain this rage against a pretty handy Bulldogs side that will no doubt whether this storm and get some territory of their own. Titans lead 4-0.

8th min Ben Barba needs to try and take those ones on the full. Let it bounce in the in-goal, pinged back over his head and he almost gave away a try. Luckily he was quick enough spin and grab it but this has been all Titans so far. They lead it 4-0.

5th min Very willing start by the Titans. Full of energy and adventure and Prince touching the ball every second play. Made a good break and it's a TRY to the Titans. The bomb goes up, the Dogs can't handle it and Greg Bird picks up and strolls over in the corner. Very easy. Titans lead it 4-0.

1st min Lovely touch there from the Titans with a minute's silence for 14-year-old Matt Barclay, who drowned at the Coast this week during the National Surf Lifesaving titles. Our thoughts as well go out to his family on the Sunshine Coast. Now we've got some action on the field as the game gets underway. Nice brown socks for Titans in honour of Men of League. You can never have enough brown. Days don't get much better for footy so let's hope this is a good one.

2pm Good afternoon folks. Brilliant day here at this lovely stadium at Robina and a fairly decent crowd here for this crucial game between the Bulldogs and the Titans. Good news for the Gold Coast with Scott Prince a late inclusion but there's no Jamal Idris. They need a huge result here today the Titans to at least deflect the attention from the financial situation at the club.


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