Canterbury fear Josh Addo-Carr has “broken something” in his right shoulder after the flying winger was put in a sling during the Bulldogs’ 26-8 loss to Parramatta.

On an afternoon when Eels No.7 Mitch Moses was left battling a groin injury, it was the Bulldogs who felt the pain most in front of a crowd of 29,171 at Western Sydney Stadium.

In a brutal start to the season for the Bulldogs, Addo-Carr left the field at half-time and did not return amid fears of damage to his right acromioclavicular joint.

“He’s not great,” Bulldogs coach Cameron Ciraldo said.

“He’s going for scans tonight. He could have something broken up in the shoulder. It was tough of him to play through to half-time.

“We have prepared for everything in terms of guys shifting around. We have a lot of versatile players.”

In another blow, Viliame Kikau was placed on report for dangerous contact on Parramatta’s Dylan Brown, although it is unlikely he will face a ban.

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The Bulldogs spent almost the entire game defending their own line, before two late tries added respectability to the score.

Such was Parramatta’s dominance, the Eels controlled 60 per cent of the ball and had more than 50 play-the-balls inside the Bulldogs’ defensive 20-metre zone.

While the prognosis does not look good for Addo-Carr, the Eels hold out better hope for his NSW State of Origin teammate Moses.

The halfback pulled up when passing the ball early in the first half, and later required strapping on his groin and medication.

He was deemed fine to stay on the field and has six days to be fully fit for Friday night’s blockbuster derby against Penrith.

“I thought about [bringing him off], but the guys told me he was OK,” coach Brad Arthur said.

“Mitch said he would be right and get himself through.

“I wasn’t real impressed when he was kicking at the back end of the game, but he said he needed to do that to get the win.”

A group of rugby league players celebrate a try

The Bulldogs were outclassed by Parramatta’s attacking skill and unable to match their forward power. (Getty Images: Brendan Thorne)

Moses’s injury was just about the only concern for the Eels.

From the moment Canterbury fullback Blake Taaffe dropped the ball on his first kick return, Parramatta spent the game camped on the Bulldogs’ line.

No moment summed up the visitors’ plight better than when Addo-Carr was put into touch in the 35th minute, unable to fend off Sean Russell thanks to his injured shoulder.

From the following set, Junior Paulo put on a bullocking run close to the line and Bryce Cartwright hit a hole on the next play to score and ensure a 14-0 half-time lead.

Paulo and Cartwright were immense for the Eels, with the duo combining for another try in the second half.

Paulo again hit the line close in, before offloading for Ryan Matterson to put on an out-the-back offload for Cartwright to score his second.

Morgan Harper had scored the Eels’ first 12 minutes in when he ran onto a Dylan Brown grubber kick, and Bailey Simonsson added the final flourish off the back of a Blake Wilson error.

Canterbury were gutsy in defence given the territorial imbalance, but the same questions remain from last year.

They were soundly beaten in yardage, while their only points came in the final 16 minutes.

Wilson had one try when Drew Hutchison spread the ball right, while Stephen Crichton scored on the more dangerous left when Kikau sent him over.

Sloan scores three and Lomax stars as Dragons start new life in style

A man puts a fend on during a rugby league match

In his second appearance on the wing, Lomax had one of his best games in first grade.(Getty Images: Bradley Kanaris )

Shane Flanagan has started his St George Illawarra coaching tenure at the helm of a gutsy and brilliant 28-4 win over Gold Coast, with fullback Tyrell Sloan scoring a hat-trick.

It was a win that had Flanagan’s fingerprints all over it in his first head-coaching gig since 2018 with Cronulla.

The Dragons defended their tryline for most of the first half with grit and gusto and made the hosts pay after the break with scintillating attack at Skilled Park in front of 14,537 fans.

Flanagan managed to get the best out of several of the previous enigmas in his squad with Sloan, winger Zac Lomax and centre Mosese Suli all superb in career-best displays.

On the flip side, new Titans coach Des Hasler has plenty of work to do with a squad that was near perfect with the ball in the first half, before turning in an error-riddled fiasco in the second stanza.

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Gold Coast suffered a blow before kick-off with veteran No.6 Kieran Foran a late withdrawal with a hamstring injury.

The Titans lacked polish at the end of their sets with halves Tom Weaver and Tanah Boyd unable to make the most of a mountain of possession in the first 40 minutes.

The Dragons started on fire with Sloan scoring in the third minute after a crafty offload by new signing Raymond Faitala-Mariner.

Weaver, Foran’s replacement, snuck a slick grubber kick in off-the-cuff for speed demon Alofiana Khan-Pereira to swoop in response.

[dragons highlights]

Dragons five-eighth Kyle Flanagan, recruited from Canterbury, made the crucial play in the 47th minute with a classic show and go to slide under the sticks and give his side a 12-4 lead.

It was set up for Sloan at that point and he did not disappoint, chiming into the line with two more tries that showcased his speed and instinct.

Flanagan has found something special in Suli.

The blockbusting centre was sensational with the ball but his defensive plays to snuff out bombs and Titans attacking raids was first class.

Lomax ran for 255 metres, scored a try and roamed around the field with intent and impact in a masterclass display.

Gold Coast received an inspirational display from captain and prop Tino Fa’asuamaleaui who played the opening 47 minutes where he ran for 187m and was a virtual one-man band.

When the skipper left the field the Dragons led 6-4. He came back on in the 68th minute but the game was gone.

Re-live all the news, scores and highlights below in our blog.

Signing off

We made it.

First game went very much how we all expected but Addo-Carr’s injury will be one to keep an eye on – could be very serious from the sound of things.

I must admit, I didn’t see that Dragons performance coming. What a start for Shane Flanagan and company! They played some great footy.

I’ll be back in tomorrow to blog the Dolphins-Cowboys game, hope to see you then!


FULLTIME: Dragons 28 Titans 4

A really impressive start to life under Shane Flanagan from the Dragons. Great to see the likes of Sloan and Lomax, who have really copped in recent years, play so well.

75th minute: Titans no try

Nothing is going right for Gold Coast tonight – Verrills has had a go from close range but is held up by de Belin.

67th minute: DRAGONS TRY

Stop me if you heard this before, but Sloan is in! That’s his third, he’s on the end of a Hunt short ball from about ten out as the halfback combines well with Flanagan. They’re doing this in style! Lomax converts and it’s Dragons 28-4. 

63rd minute: DRAGONS TRY

There’s another one, this time it’s Lomax. Hunt loops around the blindside and puts in a really nice little kick and Lomax, who has been excellent on the wing, pounces on the ball to score out wide. That’ll just about do us, really impressive stuff from the Red V. Lomax can’t convert his own try and it’s Dragons up 22-4. 

55th minute: DRAGONS TRY

Sloan has a second! Liddle slices through from his own 40 metre line and he has the fullback in support and nobody is gonna get him! What a start to the second half for the Dragons. Lomax converts and it’s Dragons 18-4. 

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48th minute: DRAGONS TRY

Flanagan waltzes through from close range for a very simple try – he sold Fermor a dummy and was too quick for Palasaia. His old man in the coaches box is loving it! It was a drop from Kelly that gave the Dragons field position. Lomax converts and the Dragons are up 12-4. 

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Second half is underway

Here we go! Still like the Titans to hang on here but the Dragons have showed a fair bit of grit early……and as I type that, Hunt drops the kick off. Bit of a 2015 vibe. Titans on the attack.

HALFTIME: Dragons 6 Titans 4

You’ve heard of a game of two halves, what about a half of two halves? Saints had the better of the first 20 minutes but Gold Coast came back strongly after that.

Both teams are playing pretty open footy, now a bad little game at all.

35th minute: TITANS TRY

Sloan drops a bomb on his own ten and the Titans get a fresh set. Kini almost gets through, then Haas gets very close on the next play. Ravalawa knocks on Boyd’s crosskick to give them another chance, they really need one before halftime, for their own confidence if nothing else.

The Titans spread it left after a Kini offload and Weaver puts through a nice grubber that AKP latches on to and he scores! Good try, nice execution. Boyd pulls it wide and the Titans have narrowed the gap to 6-4.

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27th minute: Titans error

A simple error from Bird gives the Titans possession and Sloan hits Boyd late to give them field position. Boyd earns another set via a drop out, Gold Coast are building pressure pretty nicely.

Fa’asuamaleaui nearly plunges over but gets held up, Sami cuts back inside and beats four defenders only to be brought down in the shadows of the posts but then Randall drops the ball to relieve the pressure.

13th minute: Titans no try

The Dragons very nearly score again after Lomax latches onto a bomb and throws it back inside but Faitala-Mariner’s offload is picked up by Sami and he flies downfield to flip field position.

Randall tries to duck over from close range but is held up and Boyd gets a kick into the in-goal but Sloan scoops it up and fights his way back into the field of play. Good passage of play from both sides.

7th minute: Dragons penalty

Lomax earns a penalty for slowing down the ruck. Saints looking really nice early.

3rd minute: DRAGONS TRY

What a start! Dragons get a penalty in their first set and waste no time doing something with it, Flanagan and Hunt combine, Hunt goes short to Faitala-Mariner and he pops an offload to Sloan who pours onto it to score. Excellent way to get us started. Lomax converts and it’s Dragons 6-0. 

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KICKOFF: Titans vs Dragons

Saints kick off and they’re going left to right.

FULLTIME: Eels 26 Bulldogs 8

That’ll do us. Spirited work from Canterbury but Parramatta were a cut above. Titans-Dragons will kick off in about 15 minutes.

77th minute: EELS TRY

Canterbury spread it right and there’s a little bit of something happening, but Wilson drops it as he cuts back inside. Harper picks it up and takes off, he draws the cover and finds Simonsson, who races away to score and put this one beyond all doubt. Gutherson converts and it’s Eels 26-8.

72nd minute: BULLDOGS TRY

Another Eels error, Hopgood this time, and Canterbury have a fresh set 30 metres out. On the last tackle they have another nice backline move, this time it’s right to left and Hutchinson hits Kikau short and the big man throws a great offload to Crichton who scores on his Canterbury debut! If they can get those two linking up more regularly that could be a handy thing. Burton needs to kick this…..and he doesn’t, it fades across the face of goal. Bulldogs have pulled it back to 20-8. 

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65th minute: BULLDOGS TRY

I’ll say this for Canterbury, they’ve kept at it. A Penisini error gives Canterbiry field position and the Bulldogs execute a nice left to right shift with Hutchinson and Taaffe combining for Wilson to go over in the corner. Good reward for effort. Burton misses from touch and Canterbury have narrowed the gap to 20-4.

58th minute: Eels penalty

Kikau takes out Brown’s legs as he puts a kick in and the big Fijian is in a world of hurt. He’s down injured and on report, the legit definition of adding insult to injury. Eels on the attack.