Gold Coast veteran Kieran Foran delivered an astonishing performance, claiming a hat-trick for the first time in his professional career to beat Canterbury 34-30, and add to their already harrowing season.
The Dolphins, however, may have their anxieties as they anticipate updates on their new recruit for 2024, the Bulldogs centre player, Jake Averillo. He exited the field during the second half of the match, held at Cbus Super Stadium, due to what is suspected to be an ACL injury.
This win for the Titans signifies a bleak ending for the Bulldogs, solidifying their 15th place in the competition. The Bulldogs‘ series of unsuccessful attempts to make it to the finals has now stretched out over seven consecutive seasons; a distinctly distressing outcome for such a prominent team.
In an attempt to turn things around, Coach Cameron Ciraldo, along with Bulldogs heavyweight Phil Gould, have plans for a comprehensive review of all operations during the off-season. The club has already taken significant steps towards consolidation by securing players for the upcoming season such as Stephen Crichton and Jaeman Salmon from Penrith, Blake Taaffe from Sydney, and former Cronulla centre Bronson Xerri. With these new additions in 2024, there will be significant scrutiny on Ciraldo, particularly if the team’s performance doesn’t improve dramatically.
In a memorable moment during the match, Foran revived his past prowess, slicing through the Bulldogs‘ defence with aplomb to score under the posts in the 13th minute. He followed this up by successfully feinting the Bulldogs to make his second try.
Addo-Carr also demonstrated his worth by bypassing five attempts to tackle him, managing to sprint down the left sideline for 80 metres. His incredible skill managed to pull the Bulldogs back into the game.
There were significant reshuffles in the Titans lineup; AJ Brimson shifted from centre to the halves due to starting No.7 Tom Weaver requiring treatment for a facial injury. Brimson, however, lost no momentum, sprinting 50 metres to score and giving the Titans an 18-6 lead at half-time.
Even though Foran completed his hat-trick and Addo-Carr contributed two more tries for the Bulldogs, it was the Titans who emerged victorious, as Kruise Leeming and Alofiana Khan-Pereira sealed the win with their successful attempts.