The Canterbury Bulldogs have kept themselves off the bottom of the NRL ladder with a 16-4 victory over the Wests Tigers in front of just under 10,000 fans at Stadium Australia.
The Wests Tigers were looking to go three matches unbeaten after wins over the top of the table Dragons and Rabbitohs over the past fortnight of NRL action. A win for the Tigers took them temporarily on paper to being just two points outside the top 8.
The game started with the Tigers taking the early field position after Brett Morris handed the ball back to the Bulldogs after messing up a pick up of a Luke Brooks kick. The Bulldogs however had the best of the chances early after Reimis Smith made a break down the touchline after cleaning up a kick although he blew an opportunity for points when he elected not to pass to a inside support player. The Bulldogs then really blew the opportunity for points when Brett Morris got himself over the tryline only to throw an offload to a Tigers player and release the mounting pressure.
The Tigers again built pressure on the Bulldogs but a poor kick let the pressure of the Bulldogs and a 20m restart gave the Bulldogs the catalyst to get up field for points. The 20m restart saw Brett Morris make big metres and push the Tigers defence up field. The first try came after a strong run from Kerrod Holland who ran an outside-in line at the defence and had too much strength and scored the try.
Both sides gave up penalties to help their opposition deep into attacking position but neither side was good enough to get over the line and convert chances into points and the Bulldogs took a 6-0 lead into the half time break.
The second half started much the same way as the first half played out though in just the fourth minute of the second half the Bulldogs added a penalty goal from right in front of the posts when the Tigers were ruled to have interfered in the ruck. Both sides were again just meandering their way up field with neither side able to really get the upper hand in attack. A good string of passing from the Bulldogs set up their second try when Josh Jackson gave a beautiful short ball onto Michael Lichaa who got the ball to a charging Kerrod Holland who went through to score and after Rhyse Martin's conversion the Bulldogs lead 14-0.
As the game hit the final 15 minutes, The Tigers started to gain some momentum and they took advantage of a Bulldogs defensive line that was standing back and Esarn Marsters used his strength and
momentum to get through and get the Tigers on the board and despite a conversion miss, the Tigers were gaining momentum. The Bulldogs ended up doing enough and neutralised the momentum that the Tigers began to gain. A big play from Lachlan Lewis saved the day for the Bulldogs when he made a desperate play to stick a foot out on a Luke Brooks grubber kick before diving on the ball and earning a penalty that took the Bulldogs down field. A late Rhyse Martin penalty goal added two more points and took plenty of time off the clock for the Bulldogs who ended up taking a 16-4 victory over the Tigers.
Next weekend, the Bulldogs play hosts on Thursday night when they take on the Brisbane Broncos at Stadium Australia whilst the Tigers take a Friday afternoon trip up the M1 motorway to Newcastle when they take on the Newcastle Knights at McDonald Jones Stadium.