The NYC side have left their run too late this afternoon at ANZ Stadium, going down 28-26 to the Parramatta Eels.
The side were struggling 28-10 but three tries in the final 25 minutes closed the gap but left the young pups reeling two points behind.
Coach Scott Murray went into the match with the same 17 he selected early in the week against the top of the ladder Eels.
It took 15 minutes for the first points to be registered and it was the Eels who put them on the board. A mid-field break saw the visitors in open space and it was halfback Zach Dockar-Clay trailing on the inside who received the pass and ran the remaining 15m to score under the uprights. Centre Nathan Davis converted from right in front to give the Eels a 6-nil lead.
From the kick off the ball was went sailing towards the dead ball line and went out on the full and the Eels had a restart from half-way. From there the Eels pushed towards the line and crossed for their second try of the afternoon through Fred Junior Mauala. Again it was converted through Davis, giving the Eels a 12-nil lead after 20 minutes.
Three minutes later the Bulldogs opened their account through front rower Herman Ese’ese. The young pups ground it out through the centre of the park and Ese’ese managed to pop his head through and cruised over to score. Brad Keighran converted from just to the left of the uprights to reduce the gap t0 12-6.
It was a match with the tide flowing both ways and the Bulldogs crossed for their second through winger Tautalatasi Tasi in the north-west corner. Keighran couldn’t convert with the lead now just two points to the Eels, 12-10.
The Bulldogs were dealt a blow before the break with the Eels crossing for two tries in five minutes and then going to the break leading 22-10.
The 34th minute saw halfback Docker-Clay put in a chip and chase for himself and after he was assisted by the left upright he picked up the ball to score under the posts. Davis couldn’t convert with the score remaining 16-10.
The second of those was through Alec Bush who was out wide and went over in the south-east corner. Davis couldn’t convert with the Eels going to the break leading 22-10.
After the break it was the Eels who went over for the first points through five-eighth Mark Daoud. The number six was trailing the ball carrier and took a great offload before then diving over to score. Davis easily converted to extend the lead to 28-10 after 51 minutes of play.
The fight back began for the Bulldogs but it was simply too late with the home side falling two points short by the time the final siren sounded. Three tries in the final 25 minutes closed the gap with front rower Ese’ese scoring his second try of the afternoon and then halfback Robbie Kamoto bagging a late double. Keighran could only convert two of the tries which left the final score at 28-26.
It was a great second half from the home side with not only the attack showing promise but there was a lot of confidence to come out of the way the side defended.
The Bulldogs will travel to chilli Canberra next Friday afternoon to take on the eleventh placed Raiders side.
EELS 28 (Dockar-Clay 2, Mauala, Bush, Daoud Tries; Davis 4 Goals)
BULLDOGS 26 (Ese’ese 2, Kamoto 2, Tasi Tries; Keighran 3 Goals)
At: ANZ Stadium