Canterbury Bulldogs made it back-to-back wins for the first time this year with a 20-14 comeback victory over Newcastle Knights.
Newcastle started in impressive fashion and scored the first try on five minutes when Mitchell Pearce’s long ball was perfect for Shaun Kenny-Dowall.
But despite the early setback, the Dogs competed well keeping the scoreline at 6-0 until half-time. The Knights extended that lead to eight through Mason Lino’s penalty. However, it was Lino’s kick on 58 minutes that set up Canterbury’s first try. Marcelo Montoya ran 80 metres with it and on the next play, Will Hopoate crossed on the right.
Then the Bulldogs drew level at 8-8 through Nick Meaney’s penalty which saw James Gavet placed on report and sin binned for a late tackle on Chris Smith.
Down to 12 men, the Knights fell behind for the first time when Brandon Wakeham set up Corey Harawira-Naera for the Bulldogs’ second try. Then Reimis Smith’s try gave the visitors a 12-point lead.
But Dylan Napa’s error close to his own line led to Kenny-Dowall’s second try to give the Knights hope but the Dogs held on for a win that lifts them off the bottom of the table.
Knights: Watson, Hunt, Mann, Ramien, Kenny-Dowall, Lino, Pearce, D Saifiti, Levi, Glasby, Buhrer, Mata’utia, Ese’ese; Interchanges: Gavet, King, Moga, Klemmer
Tries: Kenny-Dowall 2; Goals: Lino 3
Sin bin: Gavet (62) – late tackle; On report: Gavet (62) – late tackle
Bulldogs: Watene-Zelezniak, Meaney, Montoya, Hopoate, R Smith, Wakeham, Cogger, Tolman, Lichaa, Napa, Jackson, Harawira-Naera, C Smith; Interchanges: Elliott, Toomaga, Sue, Marshall-King
Tries: Hopoate, Harawira-Naera, R Smith; Goals: Meaney 4
Full match reports of all this weekend’s NRL games will feature in Monday’s League Express.