Match report: Canterbury Bulldogs 16-12 Newcastle Knights

In a Nutshell

The Bulldogs retained their place at the top of the NRL ladder, with a hard-fought victory over the Knights, with halfback Trent Hodkinson, who has expressed an interest in playing for England, the key difference between the teams.

How it unfolded

The Bulldogs came into the game after having won their last three games each by one point, and they got off to a good start when Mitch Brown touched down after just six minutes, although Hodkinson couldn’t convert the try.

The Knights, who had been visited in their dressing room before the game by their injured forward Alex McKinnon, were in determined mood, and drew level through Scotland international winger James McManus, although Tyrone Roberts couldnn’t edge them ahead and missed the conversion.

Just before the interval the Dogs took the lead again, when prop forward Sam Kasiano crossed, and this time Hodkinson added the conversion.

But the Bulldogs couldn’t pull away, and on 47 minutes the Knights scored again with a Robbie Rochow try, converted by Roberts, and they took the lead when Roberts added a penalty on 53 minutes.

In an arm-wrestle of a match, the Bulldogs grabbed the lead again when Aiden Tolman touched down Hodkinson’s kick, and the latter’s goal restored a four-point margin, which the Bulldogs held onto until the end of the game in front of 15,286 supporters at ANZ Stadium.

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