Rugby League

Kikau-inspired Dogs beat up on Titans

March 23, 2024 4:04 pm

[Source: NRL]

An ever-present Viliame Kikau led the way as the Bulldogs beat the Titans into submission on their way to a 32-0 shutout of the Titans on Saturday afternoon.

Kikau destroyed the Gold Coast last-tackle plan at times with his ferocious kick pressures, one of which ended in him scoring a try following a charge down in the first half, to help the Bulldogs end a six-game winless run which stretched back to July last year.

The Fijian powerhouse added a try assist before full-time and was joined by centre Jacob Kiraz and off-season recruit Josh Curran as the individual standouts in a much-improved team effort from Cameron Ciraldo’s men, following heavy defeats to the Sharks and Eels earlier in the month.

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In front of an animated crowd at Belmore Sports Ground the Gold Coast wilted, making 11 errors on a day in which they also lost captain Tino Fa’asuamaleaui to a suspected knee injury which saw him unable to put weight on his right side as he was helped from the field by trainers.

After a sloppy opening 17 minutes which saw a combined five errors and five penalties – and included Titans five-eighth Kieran Foran spilling the ball with an open line metres in front of him – Jacob Preston got the scoring started minutes after his side had a try ruled out by the Bunker for obstruction.

Kikau’s charge down on a Tanah Boyd clearing kick then saw him left with a simple scoop and score, which after Matt Burton’s second conversion gave Canterbury-Bankstown the 12-0 lead they took to the break.

The hosts looked to have a third just two minutes into the second stanza, but Curran’s effort was rubbed out when Burton was ruled to have obstructed a defender in the lead up.

But they didn’t have to wait long for more opportunities, with Reed Mahoney and Jacob Kiraz both scoring in the space of eight minutes to all but kill off the contest.

That didn’t trigger any let up from the Dogs though, with Connor Tracey grabbing Kikau’s pass for a try in the corner before Blake Taaffe backed up a Mahoney line break for his first try as a Canterbury-Bankstown player.