All the results from the round 22 weekend of NSW Cup, including a come from behind win by the Bulldogs.
The Bulldogs were down 10 nil early but came back to lead by four points at the break.
Locked up at 22 all with five minutes to go, Matt Frawley put the Bulldogs in front with a well-delivered field goal.
A try near full time wrapped the hard-fought 29-22 win for the visitors.
Canterbury Bulldogs 29 (J Graham 2, L Dodd, C Thompson, T Tasi tries; Dodd 4 goals) bt Wyong Roos 22 (Y Gordon 2, M Williams, L Puli tries; T Cornish 3 goals)
Wests Tigers 22 (C Peni 2, N Milone, K Rowe tries; J Drinkwater 3 goals) draw with Newtown Jets 22 (N Gardner 2, D Abou-Sleiman, T El Masri tries; T Murphy 3 goals)
SUMMARY: Wests Tigers and Newtown Jets keep their slim Finals hopes alive after a 22-all draw to split the the two competition points. The two sides traded blows throughout the match as the Jets lead 22-16 until Kurtis Rowe crossed for the Wests Tigers to earn the result in the final two minutes. Wests Tigers and the Jets sit one point outside the top eight with the North Sydney Bears and Illawarra Cutters ahead of them and can pull away with wins this weekend.
Penrith Panthers 30 (E Aiona, S Scarlett, C Smith, M Filino, K Moss tries; C Harawira-Naera 5 goals) bt Mounties 22 (J Hawkins, B Lee, S Duggan, J Rokoqo tries; Duggan 3 goals)
SUMMARY: The Penrith Panthers fought back from a 16-0 deficit after 10 minutes to return to the top of the table. Despite missing several key players, the Panthers were more than up to the task as they consolidated a valuable top-four position with three games remaining.
North Sydney Bears 32 (K Auva'a 2, C Walker 2, J Reddy, E Murphy tries; D Nicholls 4 goals) bt Warriors 22 (D Bhana, K Hurrell, S Rapira, T Aoake tries; M Lino 3 goals)
SUMMARY: North Sydney Bears continue their exceptional run of form with a convincing 32-22 win over the New Zealand Warriors. Kirisome Auva’a and Cody Walker piled on the points early with two tries each, before an inspirational Bears defensive effort in the final 20 minutes denied a potential Warriors comeback.
Newcastle Knights 32 (K Holland, H Tuha, C Mata'utia, G Ndaira, J Feeney, B Tupou tries; Holland 4 goals) Illawarra Steelers 16 (A Clune, P Botiki, A Tumavave-Gerrard tries; B Wallace 2 goals)
SUMMARY: The Newcastle Knights scored a 32-16 win over Illawarra Cutters in warm conditions at Hunter Stadium. Five tries in the first half set up the win for the Knights as they led by 20 at the break. The late inclusion of Jake Mamo lifted the home side to the 16-point victory.
Manly Sea Eagles 34 (D Williams 2, D Berryman, J Hodges, J Littlejohn, D Reardon, M Rudolph tries; D Kelly 3 goals) bt Wentworthville Magpies 20 (N Davis, J Tuatahi, B Crooks, H Lavaka tries; B Henry 2 goals)
SUMMARY: Manly Sea Eagles scored 22 unanswered points to overcome a 16-12 halftime deficit and convincingly defeat the Wentworthville Magpies 34-20. The contest between wingers David Williams and James Tuitahi was an astonishing sight, while Sea Eagles fullback Dom Reardon proved hard to handle. The Sea Eagles dominated the forwards battle, which ultimately proved to be the difference.
Give Me Five: NSW Cup Rd 22
The main talking points to come out of the round 22 NSW Cup action.
1. Quadruple Trouble
Mounties, Wyong Roos, Penrith Panthers and New Zealand Warriors are in a four-way deadlock for first place with three rounds remaining.
Although the top two teams don’t receive home-grand advantage, there is a major psychological gain in finishing the regular season as Minor Premiers. All four teams will be determined to finish first in gathering end-of-season momentum and boost confidence entering the Finals.
2. Did the Bulldogs rediscover their Bark?
The Canterbury Bulldogs were cruising for a top-four finish, winning six of seven games before back-to-back losses against the Newcastle Knights and North Sydney Bears. They bounced back into the winners’ column on the weekend with a hard-fought 29-22 victory over the top-of-the-table Wyong Roos.
While the Bulldogs carry the second-best attack with 498 points, their defence is a concern. They are ranked sixth in defence and Andy Patmore’s men will be determined to tighten up their defence with games against the Manly Sea Eagles, Cutters and Wests Tigers before the Finals.
3. Red-Hot Bears
The North Sydney Bears are rolling and have entrenched themselves in seventh place following their impressive 32-22 win over the league-leading Warriors.
The Bears’ turnaround has been nothing short of amazing after they languished at the bottom of the ladder for much of the season. Taking over midseason, Ben Gardiner’s side have lost just two of their past ten matches, recording six wins and two draws. With a team stacked with talent including Kirisome Auva’a, Cody Walker and Paul Carter, the ceiling is certainly high.
4. Are the Jets and Wests Tigers still in contention?
While the Jets and Wests Tigers are still in contention, they will face a mighty uphill climb to reach the Finals and need several results to fall their way.
The Jets take on the competition leaders, the Penrith Panthers, before the Knights and red-hot Bears. Wests Tigers face an even tougher road against the Warriors, Mounties and Bulldogs.
5. Cutters on the hot seat
The Illawarra Cutters are in control of their own Finals destiny, sitting in eight position. However, they face arguably the toughest finish to the regular season of any team with matches against competition heavyweights, Mounties, Bulldogs and Penrith Panthers.
If the Cutters overcome their challenging end-of-season gauntlet and reach the Finals, they will certainly be battled tested and will pose as a dangerous threat to take out the VB NSW Cup.
This article first appeared on NSWRL.com.au