The lustre is rapidly disappearing from Gold Coast's premiership credentials thanks to a collapse in the team's defensive resolve in recent weeks.
The Titans have conceded a staggering 188 points in their past five outings, sending their points differential into negative territory and the club out of the top eight.
A match against one of the NRL's battlers should be just the pick-me-up the team needs but the roller-coaster form line and absence of star forward David Fifita (suspended) dictate that nothing be taken for granted. And with dates against the Storm and Roosters looming this is a win the Titans just have to have.
Being unable to seal the deal after leading 12-8 against a 12-man Canberra is hardly an encouraging sign for the Bulldogs. It's been four weeks since Canterbury's lone win of 2021 and they still don't look like they have worked out how and where victory No.2 will be secured.
Match: Titans v Bulldogs
Round 11 -
Venue: Cbus Super Stadium, Gold Coast
Titans: Gold Coast will start 1-17 with Jai Whitbread the 18th man. With Herman Ese'ese (three weeks) and Tyrone Peachey (two weeks) suspended, the Titans have reshuffled their pack. Tino Fa'asuamaleaui shifts from prop to lock and Mo Fotuaika moves into the starting side at prop.
Sam Stone and Erin Clark are the new faces on the bench.
Ash Taylor and Toby Sexton were culled when the 19-man squad was announced 24 hours out from kick-off.
The Titans have won four of their past five games at Cbus Super Stadium but they have conceded 188 points in their past five outings in 2021.
Bulldogs: In a change announced an hour before kick-off, Adam Elliott moves into the starting side, with Renouf Atoni now on the interchange. Ofahiki Ogden is the 18th man.
Winger Tui Katoa has been sidelined after he was on the end of Josh Papalii's high shot on Saturday.
Canterbury have been granted an NRL exemption to replace him with Watson Heleta in their squad. Heleta was omitted an hour before kick-off. Kyle Flanagan and Joe Stimson were also omitted from their reserves on Friday.
Nick Meaney moves out to the wing and the new centre is 19-year-old debutant Aaron Schoupp.
Prop Dylan Napa has been named on the bench in his return from a shoulder injury.
Matt Doorey has been promoted to the starting side in the second row.
Jeremy Marshall-King (foot), Josh Jackson (calf) and Jack Hetherington (suspension) are at least another week away.
The Bulldogs have lost their past seven games in Queensland.
Fullback for Titans is number 1 Alexander BrimsonFullback for Bulldogs is number 1 Dallin Watene-Zelezniak
Winger for Titans is number 2 Anthony DonWinger for Bulldogs is number 2 Nick Cotric
Centre for Titans is number 3 Brian KellyCentre for Bulldogs is number 3 Will Hopoate
Centre for Titans is number 4 Esan MarstersCentre for Bulldogs is number 4 Aaron Schoupp
Winger for Titans is number 5 Phillip SamiWinger for Bulldogs is number 5 Nick Meaney
Five-Eighth for Titans is number 6 Tanah BoydFive-Eighth for Bulldogs is number 6 Brandon Wakeham
Halfback for Titans is number 7 Jamal FogartyHalfback for Bulldogs is number 7 Jake Averillo
Prop for Titans is number 8 Jarrod WallaceProp for Bulldogs is number 8 Ava Seumanufagai
Hooker for Titans is number 9 Mitch ReinHooker for Bulldogs is number 9 Sione Katoa
Prop for Titans is number 10 Moeaki FotuaikaProp for Bulldogs is number 10 Luke Thompson
2nd Row for Titans is number 11 Kevin Proctor2nd Row for Bulldogs is number 11 Matt Doorey
2nd Row for Titans is number 12 Beau Fermor2nd Row for Bulldogs is number 12 Chris Smith
Lock for Titans is number 13 Tino Fa'asuamaleauiLock for Bulldogs is number 16 Adam Elliott
Interchange for Titans is number 14 Erin ClarkInterchange for Bulldogs is number 13 Renouf Atoni
Interchange for Titans is number 15 Sam StoneInterchange for Bulldogs is number 14 Bradley Deitz
Interchange for Titans is number 16 Jaimin JolliffeInterchange for Bulldogs is number 15 Corey Waddell
Interchange for Titans is number 17 Sam McIntyreInterchange for Bulldogs is number 17 Dylan Napa
Reserve for Titans is number 18 Jai WhitbreadReserve for Bulldogs is number 23 Ofahiki Ogden
- Referee: Matt Cecchin
- Touch Judge: Jon Stone
- Touch Judge: Tyson Brough
- Senior Review Official: Chris Butler
Jarrod Wallace v Luke Thompson: Wallace is averaging 100 metres per game this season and has been threatening opposition defences with some crafty offloads.
The Titans' pack will look to lay the foundation for their speed to men to capitalise and Wallace will be in the thick of the action.
Thompson arrived at the Bulldogs mid-season from England last year and didn't quite hit top gear, but with a pre-season under his belt has improved across the board this season with his run metres per game improving from 111 to 142 while his tackle counts, tackle breaks and offloads have all increased.
The Bulldogs may be in the competition basement but they're the intercept kings so far in 2021. Canterbury have snagged six opposition passes to rank No.1 ahead of a four-way tie for second between the Cowboys, Roosters, Eels and Rabbitohs on five.
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