The Gold Coast Titans won back-to-back for the first time this season, as the Canterbury Bulldogs rued the loss of Kieran Foran.
It was a gutsy and hard fought 18-14 win at ANZ Stadium for the Titans, who are building nicely for the future.
It was on the back of Foran that the Bulldogs mounted their mini comeback before injury sadly struck.
Foran is believed to have suffered a torn pec which would rule him out for the rest of the season.
“The players are shattered themselves for him and a few of them just walked out with him to make sure he is okay,” Canterbury coach Steve Georgallis said.
“It is disappointing. He has been our form player for the past six weeks and every week he is giving 100 per cent.
I am sure he will get over this, he is a resilient type of player so I am sure he will come back.”
It took just two minutes for the Titans to score the opening try of the game through winger Corey Thompson.
It was young back-rower Beau Fermor who made the initial break.
Ash Taylor then continued his recent run of good form with a lovely cut-out pass for Thompson to score.
The Titans would lose Jaimin Jolliffe and Brian Kelly to ankle injuries, though both would return later in the game.
Despite that, Fermor, now in the centres, was the quickest one to pounce on a Jamal Fogarty grubber.
Errors and ill-discipline then crept into the Titans game and that was all the Bulldogs needed to score.
Foran showed his class and experience, with a lovely pass for Nick Meaney to score for the Bulldogs.
AJ Brimson and Fogarty then combined, with the halfback beating out Marcelo Montoya to score.
The Bulldogs could have gone into the half with a reduced deficit, had Luke Thompson not been disallowed a try.
The bunker ruled that he had promoted the ball when he was tackled short of the line.
Foran then did it all himself after each side had a try disallowed.
He powered past Fogarty to get the Bulldogs back in the contest.
Just three minutes later is when Foran would clutch at his pec and head up the tunnel. His night was over.
In the ensuing play, Thompson spotted a gap in the defensive line and kicked from the left wing to the right wing.
Waiting was Anthony Don, who shrugged off Meaney and went over to score.
Up 18-10 and winning by two scores, the Bulldogs had their work cut out to snag a win.
They came close after Lachlan Lewis ran past Fogarty to score, making things interesting.
In the end, though, it was the Titans who held on for a gutsy win.
Holbrook praised his side for their performance and knows that in the past, it was not a win that would have come their way.
“I am really happy that we went back-to-back. It means a lot to myself and the players,” said Holbrook.
“I thought we played really good in the first half and we were hanging on in the second half but that is a good sign too.
“I thought it showed the character of the boys.”
The character and the resolve of his side impressed Holbrook.
“We couldn’t have done that earlier in the year,” Holbrook continued.
If we lost two players, I would have been sitting here saying we lost a few guys through injury and we weren’t good enough.”
NRL News Player of the Game
3. Corey Thompson (GLD)
2. Kieran Foran (CBY)
- Beau Fermor (GLD)