AAP Rugby

Bulldogs slump to worst start in 54 years

By AAP Newswire

Canterbury will mount a fortnight of soul-searching after slumping to their worst start in 54 seasons following a 32-10 thumping at the hands of Gold Coast.

The Bulldogs had everything to play for at their spiritual home of Belmore Sportsground on Saturday, with Moses Mbye playing his last game for the NRL club.

Instead, they turned in an insipid performance that coach Dean Pay admits he felt coming amid a host of distractions during the past several months.

Mbye will turn up to Wests Tigers training on Monday following a mid-season move brought on by the club's salary cap problems.

With just three wins under their belt this year, the Bulldogs have had their worst start through 14 games since their wooden-spoon season in 1964.

Pay said he felt the six-tries-to-two defeat coming after his side lacked energy and application at training.

He spoke to the side on the eve of the game and before they ran out about their sub-par preparation but couldn't hold back the onslaught.

"Physically, we just weren't good enough. The way they turned up, the way they trained during the week wasn't good enough," Pay said.

"I thought one of these was coming for a while. We've been competitive when we play our best but what we dished up today wasn't good enough.

"We addressed it yesterday and I addressed it again today."

The Bulldogs fell to 15th on the ladder after what was their biggest loss under Pay this season.

The coach is in a difficult position after inheriting his squad and a club fraught with off-field problems.

They have been competitive in recent weeks, going down by six points or fewer on four occasions in their previous six games, but Pay said they would go in search of immediate answers.

They were never really in the game and Michael Gordon's early double had the Titans scoring at nearly a point a minute.

Halfback Ash Taylor was chief destroyer, setting up three of the Titans' six tries, while Ryan James made a compelling case for a NSW call-up, racking up 121m, 44 tackles and a try in a 73-minute effort.

"We came out there and you could just tell we were on," Titans coach Garth Brennan said.

"Defensively, our resolve was really good. For a side that's been criticised about our defence, and quite rightly so, I thought today on both sides of the football we showed some quite pleasing things."

Bulldogs and NSW prop David Klemmer could come under the scrutiny of the match review committee for a late shot on AJ Brimson in the final minutes.