A hat-trick to Kieran Foran – the first of his NRL career – has helped the Titans end their 2023 campaign on a positive note with a 34-30 victory over the Bulldogs at Cbus Stadium on Sunday.
Foran, who at 33 and after 282 games, tormented his former club to cross for a treble as the Titans piled on more pain against a Bulldogs outfit who surrendered a 12-0 lead early before clawing their way back throughout the afternoon.
A double to Foran within eight minutes of each other set the match up for the home side before the visitors struck back via a stirring solo effort from Josh Addo-Carr, who also crossed for three tries in a beaten side.
The Titans extended their lead before half-time with the Fa’asuamaleaui brothers – Tino and Izack – linking up to help send AJ Brimson over for a long-range team try.
Bulldogs forward Kurtis Morrin finished off a cross-field kick to get Cameron Ciraldo’s side back to within six points after the break but the 12-point advantage soon returned when Foran split them again on the left edge.
Addo-Carr grabbed a second soon after as the game began to open up with Viliame Kikau doing enough to put the NSW and Kangaroos winger into space.
Canterbury should’ve got scores level immediately after with a repeat set not finished off by Matt Burton, who dropped the ball over the line after a sharp left step to get in the in-goal.
Burton’s near miss proved costly with the Titans crossing next to give themselves another nice buffer with Brimson breaking through to send Kruise Leeming over the line – all while Jake Averillo left the field with a knee injury.
A try to Alofiana Khan-Pereira – his 20th of the season – put the Titans further ahead but the Bulldogs wouldn’t go away with Addo-Carr finishing off a Hayze Perham linebreak and kick to score another stunning long-range try.
The Bulldogs went within four of victory after Blake Wilson crossed on the full-time siren but it was too little, too late, as the Titans held on for victory.