Gold Coast could face a week without a home and the team’s first-choice halves after Jamal Fogarty was injured in the Titans’ 20-4 loss to Canberra.
In the other game of Easter Saturday, the Cronulla Sharks hammered the North Queensland Cowboys 48-10.
Raiders full-back Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad put on a clinic for Canberra, starring in attack and defence for the Green Machine.
Josh Papalii was also powerful up front, scoring a crucial second-half try after the Raiders had taken an 8-4 lead to the break.
But while Canberra was smashed by injuries last week, it was the Titans who were left licking their wounds after the relocated match at Sydney’s Kogarah Oval on Saturday night.
Already without five-eighth Ash Taylor for another week, Fogarty limped off in the second half with a quad injury after battling through the first.
It left Erin Clark and Tyrone Peachey playing on the ball, with 20-year-old Tanah Boyd already wearing the number six jersey.
On the road and uncertain where they will host Newcastle next week due to COVID-19 restrictions, the Titans also lost off-contract fan-favourite Anthony Don to a serious-looking hamstring injury.
But the injuries should not take away from Canberra’s win, which moved them into the NRL’s top four.
Nicoll-Klokstad totalled 260 metres from full-back, busting eight tackles and setting up Papalii’s try with a dancing run on the previous play.
He also pulled off a superb try-saver on Don in the first half, knocking the ball out of the winger’s hands after Jack Wighton had done likewise 13 minutes earlier.
Papalii finished with 175 metres after coming off the bench, while Ryan Sutton bagged his third try of the year late when he pushed his way over.
It was also a memorable night for Jarrod Croker, who equalled Andrew Johns as the fourth highest points-scorer of all time, with four goals taking his career tally to 2176.
The Raiders centre had earlier played a role in the team’s first try, after he made the most of an Elliott Whitehead bust and put Jordan Rapana over with a nice backhand flick.
The Titans meanwhile were left to rue their chances.
Aside from Don’s missed opportunities, they coughed up the ball too often when on the attack and completed at just 67 per cent.
Tino Fa’asuamaleaui was their shining light, playing 73 minutes for his 195 metres and three offloads in his best game so far for the club.
Sharks thrash Cowboys
North Queensland’s NRL season has descended into further chaos with another limp effort ending in a record 48-10 loss to Cronulla.
The Cowboys conceded six first-half tries, narrowly avoiding becoming the first team to ship 50 points this season but still notching their biggest-ever loss to the Sharks.
The winless Cowboys were equally aimless in attack, needlessly running the ball over the sideline early in the tackle count as alarm bells rang louder for new coach Todd Payten.
The result follows a 44-8 loss to Gold Coast last weekend and comes with star playmaker Michael Morgan’s playing future up in the air as he contends with a debilitating shoulder injury.
The Sharks (41 of 49) were ruthless, completing almost double the sets of the Cowboys (24 of 35) and boasting plenty of options behind the dynamic Matt Moylan and clever kicking of hooker Blayke Brailey.
In a clinical first-half display, they wreaked havoc on both edges of the depleted Cowboys defence.
A Brailey 40-20 opened the floodgates, Moylan scoring from a skilful Braden Hamlin-Uele flick pass for a 24-6 lead after 32 minutes.
They scored twice more in the next six minutes to lead 36-6 at the break, Chad Townsend (eight of eight) perfect with the boot, putting to rest his troubles after their round-two loss to Canberra.
The Cowboys’ only first-half points came from a Sharks attacking raid gone wrong, with Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow scooping up a loose ball and running 90 metres to score.
Coen Hess and Jake Granville were thrown in to the centres with Justin O’Neill and Murray Taulagi failing their head-injury assessments.
Josh Dugan was another victim of concussion while Sharks teammate Ronaldo Mulitano (knee) was also sidelined in a frenetic first half.
ABC / AAP