Third time proves a charm for injury-hit Titans, Bulldogs get up and running in NRL

By Peter Hanson 17 March 2017 140
Third time proves a charm for injury-hit Titans, Bulldogs get up and running in NRL

Injury-hit Gold Coast Titans overcame a slow start to defeat the previously unbeaten Parramatta Eels 26-14 on Thursday and earn a first NRL win of the season.

The Titans were short of backline options ahead of the game, with ankle-injury victim Jarrya Hayne among their notable absentees. They then lost winger William Zillman to a calf injury in the first half, while Konrad Hurrell required a concussion test and Tyrone Roberts played through a hamstring complaint.

And the early signs for the Titans were not good when Clinton Gutherson scored under the posts from Beau Scott's offload in just the seventh minute, prior to Jeff Robson going over for a second Eels try.

However, the momentum shifted when Chris McQueen barged over at dummy half and Tyler Cornish marked his NRL debut with a score in the left corner that was superbly converted by Ashley Taylor to level the match at 12-12 at half-time.

A Gutherson penalty had the Titans briefly back in front, but Kane Elgey benefitted from a piece of good fortune when a Taylor grubber fell kindly into his path, and Tyrone Roberts touched down with seven minutes remaining to put the game beyond doubt.

In Friday's early contest, Canterbury Bulldogs also got off the mark for the season with a gritty 24-12 victory over New Zealand Warriors.

Syndey-side Canterbury, who hosted the 'home' fixture at Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin, were thankful for a Brett Morris double and twice came from behind to secure the win.

It was a backs-against-the-wall performance from the Bulldogs as the Warriors peppered their line and enjoyed long periods of possession, but Canterbury outscored their opponents four tries to two with Moses Mbye and debutant Marcelo Montoya - the first NRL player with Chilean heritage - also touching down.

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