The Canterbury Bulldogs had another chance to move off the bottom of the ladder as they faced a Gold Coast Titans side considered favourites.
Just two and a half minutes into the game, Beau Fermor raced 70-metres before passing back inside to Alexander Brimson to reach the ten-metre line.
A few tackles later, the ball came back left to Thompson after a cut-out pass from Ash Taylor and the winger dove over in the corner to open the scores.
A little after ten minutes into the game, Brian Kelly and Jaimin Joliffe both picked up ankle knocks in separate incidents, with both players having to leave the field.
This left the Titans with just 15 fit players for at least 70 minutes of the game.
Despite having to reshuffle their left edge, it was the Titans makeshift centre, Fermor who was the quickest off the mark to chase Jamal Fogarty’s kick along the floor and dot down for a second Gold Coast try just after the 20-minute mark.
With 13 minutes to go until the break, the Bulldogs hit back as Kieran Foran threw a looped cut-out pass to Nick Meaney, who stepped off his left-foot to cut back inside and reduce the deficit.
Following a mistake from Kerrod Holland, the Titans attacked from a ten-metre scrum.
Fogarty and Brimson combined from the back of the scrum, and the half-back beat Marcelo Montoya on the outside to get through the line and score.
Two minutes before the break, the Titan still only lead by eight-points, but Luke Thompson decided the change that.
He picked up a short ball and charged over the top of Renouf To’omaga to ground the ball. However, he was penalised for a double movement in what was an extremely harsh call on the English prop.
HALF-TIME: Canterbury Bulldogs 6-14 Gold Coast Titans
The Titans looked to have pulled ahead in the 46th minute as Don claimed Fogarty’s high kick, before offloading to Jarrod Wallace to score.
However, Young Tonumaipea obstructed the Bulldogs full-back Hopoate and the score remained 6-14.
Five minutes later, another carry from Thompson was followed by a quick play-the-ball and Foran picked the ball up at first receiver, spotted a gap and accelerated over to score.
Keiran Foran left the field with a torn peck with half an hour to go, as the home side suddenly lost some momentum in the attack.
However, it was in the defence they were lacking quality as they allowed two kicks on the Titan’s fifth tackle.
Anthony Don claimed the second effort and beat the tackle of Meaney to extend the Gold Coast lead.
Tonumaipea nearly made up for his error earlier in the half as he came within inches of the try-line on the hour mark, but was short of the line.
In the following play, Ash Taylor’s kick was charged down and the Gold Coast found themselves back on the 40-metre line.
With Foran off the field, Lachlan Lewis took the reins as he just stepped to the outside of Fogarty and pushed himself over the try-line to score.
Jake Averillo failed to convert so the score remained 14-18 to the Titans with seven minutes to go.
The game still hadn’t opened up as the Gold Coast looked to grind out the victory.
The Titans had the ball in hand in the final minute and Tonumaipea took the last tackle and the two points were secured by the visitors.
FULL-TIME: Canterbury Bulldogs 14-18 Gold Coast Titans
Hopoate, Meaney, Montoya, Holland, Watene-Zelazniak, Foran, Lewis, Ogden, Marshall-King, Napa, Jackson, Faitala-Mariner, Tolman
Interchanges: Averillo, To’omaga, Doorey, Thompson
Tries: Meaney, Foran, Lewis
Goals: Meaney (1/2), Averillo (0/1)
Gold Coast Titans
Brimson, Thompson, Kelly, Tonumaipea, Don, Taylor, Fogarty, Wallace, Rein, Jolliffe, Stone, Fermor, Peachey
Interchanges: Clark, Fotuaika, Lisone, Arrow
Tries: Thompson, Fermor, Fogarty, Don
Goals: Taylor (1/4)
Referee: C. Sutton
Touch Judges: L. Kennedy, D. Oultram
Video Referee: B. Scott
Image Source: @NRL (twitter)