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Gold Coast Titans thrash Canterbury Bulldogs 26 - 16

The intricacies of the video referee have halted Canterbury's bid for the NRL top four as Gold Coast moved into finals reckoning with a 26-16 upset at ANZ Stadium.

A Kevin Gordon hat-trick helped the Titans secure just their second win from the past six games to leap ahead of Canberra into eighth spot on the ladder, the Bulldogs now trailing fourth-placed Melbourne by five points with four rounds remaining.

The home side was left to rue a controversial video referee ruling when Josh Reynolds was denied a try in the 52nd minute which would have given the Bulldogs their first lead.

The on-field officials ruled no-try as they sent it upstairs, and despite replays indicating the ball hitting Jamie Dowling's head and not Josh Jackson's hand, the original decision was upheld due to insufficient evidence.

The impact of the call was exacerbated when David Mead crossed off a delicate inside ball from Luke O'Dwyer four minutes later to give the Titans an 18-10 lead.

Reynolds did eventually get his try off a Krisnan Inu offload seven minutes from fulltime to set up a thrilling finish but the comeback was over when Greg Bird managed to get a pass away with four defenders on him to set up Gordon's third in the dying stages.

Gordon scored his first two tries inside the opening 20 minutes, the second an acrobatic effort around the corner post, with Sam Perrett's reply the Bulldogs' only joy of a half littered with 16 penalties.

Man mountain Tony Williams was cut down just short of the line when a try seemed certain, while Trent Hodkinson did what his much bigger opponent could not as he weaved his way over from close range.

The Bulldogs could have tied it up at 12-all only for Krisnan Inu to miss a simple conversion, with Hodkinson inexplicably relieved of his kicking duties.

While frustrated at the number of penalties, Bulldogs coach Des Hasler refused to blame the whistle blowers or the men in the video box for the result.

"It was very disappointing. We didn't help our own cause - we certainly helped theirs," Hasler said.

"There were a number of times we had the game and were unable to go on with it.

"It was our opportunity to get away from that congestion (in the eight). We've got a tough fortnight ahead of us now."

They are likely to be without Sam Kasiano for that stretch at least, the big front-rower to have scans on a knee injury on Tuesday.

The Titans joined the congestion, and despite a nightmare run home which finishes with games against the Sydney Roosters and Melbourne, are now determined to finish the job.

"The eight's always there, and you can't say that you're not looking at it - if your team's not playing well the reality is there's not much point thinking about the eight," Cartwright said.

"There's light at the end of the tunnel now ... we've worked our way back into the eight and we certainly want to stay there."

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