Lachlan Jeffery reviews the Sunday afternoon clash between Canterbury and Gold Coast at CommBank Stadium
Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 36
Tries: Josh Addo-Carr 3 (4, 23, 45), Matt Burton 2 (30, 64), Jeremy Marshall-King (18)
Goals: Matt Burton 6 (3, 6, 20, 25, 32, 47)
Gold Coast Titans 26
Tries: Toby Sexton (9), David Fifita (38), Phillip Sami (52), Patrick Herbert (57), Sosefo Fifita (66)
Goals: Toby Sexton 3 (11, 54, 58)
MATCH REPORTEmbed from Getty Images
A stunning first half from the Canterbury Bulldogs has seen them power past the Gold Coast Titans 36-26 in an at-times fiery clash at CommBank Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
The fuse was lit in the build-up to the match when Canterbury forward Tevita Pangai Jr. declared he would protect Matt Burton following the five-eighth’s altercation with Tino Fa’asuamaleaui in State of Origin III.
The crowd showed their displeasure with Fa’asuamaleaui, booing him on each involvement, however they were cheering before too long as the Bulldogs ran in four tries in the first half hour.
The Bulldogs got scoring underway after three minutes when Burton landed a penalty goal following a successful captain’s challenge
Burton set up their first try in the following set when he broke through the line before turning it inside to Josh Addo-Carr to finish it off.
It didn’t take long for the Titans to hit back, with an Aaron Booth grubber bouncing up perfectly for Toby Sexton.
They nearly had a second within five minutes, however Fa’asuamaleaui couldn’t handle the bouncing ball near the try line.
Canterbury then had their chance to score, only for Raymond Faitala-Mariner to lose the ball attempting to reach out and score.
They did score two minutes later when a big dummy from Jeremy Marshall-King allowed him to slice through under the posts.
The game threatened to erupt midway through the half, first when Fa’asuamaleaui alleged an eye gouge that saw Corey Waddell put on report.
That was followed by a melee when Fa’asuamaleaui appeared to shoulder charge Pangai on his first touch of the game.
In between, Addo-Carr took an intercept and raced 95 metres to score.
Marshall-King sent Burton through a huge hole to take the score to 26-6 on the half-hour mark.
The Titans narrowly clung on defensively and were rewarded when a Sexton grubber bounced up perfectly for David Fifita to score and cut the margin back to 16 at half-time.
Any momentum the Titans took to the break was quickly wiped away as Addo-Carr took another intercept and raced 90m to complete his hat trick.
Desperate to stay in the contest, the Titans scored back-to-back tries from kicks through Phillip Sami and Patrick Herbert to bring the score back to 32-22 with more than 20 minutes remaining.
Addo-Carr turned provider for Burton to score the match-sealing try with 15 minutes to go, before Sosefo Fifita scored the first try of his career to make the final margin 10 points.
PLAYER OF THE YEAR POINTSEmbed from Getty Images
3 pts – Josh Addo-Carr (Bulldogs), 2 pts – Matt Burton (Bulldogs), 1 pt – Jeremy Marshall-King (Bulldogs)
Follow Nothing But League on Facebook.