His teammates in Canterbury returned with Kieran Furan after fears of an out-of-contract star injury at the end of the season overshadowed the bridging Gold Coast’s 18-14 victory on Saturday at ANZ Stadium.
After inspiring a Bulldog fight almost alone, Furan was forced off the field midway through the second half with his chest torn in his right muscle and quickly left the field after the match was over.
“The players broke themselves because of him and a few went out with him to make sure he was fine,” said Canterbury coach Steve Gorgales.
“It’s disappointing. He’s been our best player for the past six weeks and every week he’s giving 100 percent. I’m sure he’ll beat this, he’s a flexible type of player so I’m sure he’ll come back.”
However, it won’t be with the Bulldogs after the club decides not to offer Foran a new contract for next season and announces that Blake Green has signed a one-year deal.
Furan is now looking for another club and the veteran playmaker has shown he still has a lot to offer before being forced to leave the field in the 54th minute.
He had just scored an attempt after he had earlier placed one for Wing Nick Minnie and with him went Canterbury’s hopes of ascending from the bottom of the premiership ladder.
Dog actor Dylan Napa also failed to finish the match due to knee and shoulder injuries sustained in the final minutes and it appears his season is over as well.
“The Gold Coast is a good soccer team. They have played really well for the past two weeks,” said Giorgales.
“They scored two kicks and one Scrum attempts, and that was the difference.
“If you weren’t competing every minute and every time you got burned and burned three times today, and that cost us the match.”
The Titans continued from where they left off in last weekend’s 14-10 victory over St George Illawarra when winger Corey Thompson offered their opening attempt in just the second minute.
The attempt came after a long-range break from second rowing player Beau Fermor and Thompson with a cut pass from Ash Taylor’s quintuple before diving into the corner to score.
Not even a reconfiguration of the Gold Coast squad after losing Jimin Jolliffe in the 10th minute and midfielder Brian Kelly after a minute with ankle injuries could stop the momentum.
Fermor moved to the middle instead of Kelly, and scored the next attempt when he pounced on a goalkeeper perfectly positioned by Canterbury full-back Jamal Fogarty into the net.
Furan leaves the stadium with a suspected chest injury
Up until that point, the Gold Coast had been playing flawlessly, but the lapses in discipline that led to penalties and matches allowed the Bulldogs to return to the match and Furan took advantage of winger Nick Minnie in the 28th minute.
Fogarty responded just minutes later after receiving a pass from full-back AJ Brimson after a 10-meter win and Bulldogs’ Marcelo Montoya saved to score.
England defender Luke Thompson thought he scored his first attempt at NRL shortly before halftime, but Bunker ruled that he got up for the ball after being dealt off the line and Canterbury went into the first half late 14-6.
Taylor Poses It For Thompson
Bulldogs striker Renove Toomaga and Gold Coast’s Jarrod Wallace were canceled early in the second half but there was no doubt when Furan overcame Fogarty to score in the 50th minute.
The attempt raised Canterbury’s hopes, but only three minutes later Furan faltered as Brimson stepped into his right shoulder and immediately took advantage of the Giants.
By spotting the space on the other side of the field where Furan was defending, Thompson kicked from the left seam of right winger Anthony Don to pick up the ball before he ignored Menaie and ran away to score.
Initially, the Bulldogs wanted to stop playing and check Foran’s injury but left the field and climbed through the tunnel, pointing to the right biceps.
Mid-back Lachlan Lewis stepped up in the absence of Furan and skipped Fogarty to score in the 72nd minute, but rising midfielder Jake Avrilo missed the transfer and the giants scored their first wins of the season.
Lewis beats Fogarty to get even closer to the Bulldogs