The Bulldogs NYC side have tonight fallen just short of victory, going down 24-22 to the Tigers at ANZ Stadium.
In a match filled with errors, the scoring was back and forth and with a conversion attempt on full-time being waved away, the young pups had fallen short.
There were two changes to the side with Robbie Kamoto being ruled out, Alex Sorge started at five-eighth and Josh Bergamin coming on to the interchange bench.
It was end to end play early but it was the Bulldogs who were able to open the scoring in the 13th minute of play. It was a big defensive set on their own line that spurred the young pups on and with a number of drives through the centre of the field, the holes out wide opened. It was a simple shift to the left and then a nice fend by Michael Morgan that saw him go into open space. As he was about to be run down he threw out the right hand, clearing the way for him to go over and score. Brad Keighran converted to put the Bulldogs out to a 6-nil lead.
The Tigers looked rattled by being behind early and had the shakes, continuing to drop the ball coming out of their own end. With the extra possession and field position the young pups went over for their second try of the match through left winger Tautalatasi Tasi. The space simply opened up out wide and Tasi went over untouched in the north-west corner. Keighran smartly converted from out wide to put the score out to 12-nil after 22 minutes.
Once the Tigers got the ball they were able to turn it into points with winger John Ogden scoring in the 24th minute. It was tough footy being played through the middle and once sent out wide the winger cruised over. Halfback Eli Levido converted from out wide to close the gap to 12-6.
Five minutes later scores were level after back rower Lamar Liolevave cruised over off the back of a mid-field break. Levido again converted to make the score 12-all.
The 34th minute saw the Tigers go over and take the lead through winger John Tohi. Levido couldn’t convert and the Tigers went to the break leading 16-12.
It was a great start to the second half for the Bulldogs with front rower Brock Cope charging into the line and managing to reach out to score. Keighran converted to put the Bulldogs back in front, 18-16 after 43 minutes.
From there the Bulldogs tried extremely hard but just could not crack the Tigers line. Each of the Tigers centres crossed with Watson Heleta going in off the back of a 40/20 kick which gave them a repeat set. His partner Delouise Hoeter crossed in the 74th minute to all but wrap up the match. Neither of the tries were converted with the Tigers with the visitors in the lead 24-18.
As the full-time siren was about to sound the Bulldogs were on the attack and a Guy Hamilton cross-kick gave Tasi his second try of the afternoon. With Keighran off the ground, it was Josh Bergamin who had he pressure kick and unfortunately couldn’t convert from out wide and the Tigers held on for a 24-22 win.
TIGERS 24 (Ogden, Liolevave, Tohi, Heleta, Hoeter Tries; Levido 2 Goals)
BULLDOGS 22 (Morgan, Tasi 2, Cope Tries; Keighran 3 Goals)
At: ANZ Stadium