The Bulldogs NSW Cup side have advanced through to the Preliminary Final after a 33-20 victory over the New Zealand Warriors this afternoon at Jubilee Oval, Kogarah.
They will now take on the Wyong Roos at Leichardt Oval at 1pm on Sunday.
Lloyd Perrett was a late inclusion to the side after he wasn’t required last night in the NRL fixture.
In just the sixth minute the Warriors opened their account through a Matt Allwood try. On the last tackle the midfield bomb was put up and after letting it bounce, the Warriors managed to get the ball back. With it still alive, it was shifted to the right hand side and the centre turned on the speed, used his fend before going over to score in the south-west corner. Mason Lino was back in the NSW Cup side and converted from out wide giving the Warriors a 6-nil lead.
With the Warriors on the attack the blue and whites were on the back foot but a great read in defence and an error from Raymond Faitala-Mariner gifted the ball to Jarrod McInally who ran 90m to score under the uprights. Centre Levi Dodd had the kicking duties and converted to level the scores at 6-all.
The 19th minute saw McInally score his second of the night but on this occasion it was five-eighth Matt Frawley who was the star of the play. The former Raider put a shift on to the left, cutting out his back rower and then Chase Stanley tipped it on to his winger who went over untouched. Dodd couldn’t convert with the score now 10-6.
The lead changed again when Lino brought back some of his NRL experience when he dummied and went straight the Danny Fualalo and Brad Clark to score. He converted his own try to put the Warriors in front 12-10.
It was a moment of brilliance in the 27th minute from halfback Jaline Graham. Off the back of a play we are so used to when we watch the NRL side go around, Graham took the ball out the back and broke through the line. When he got to the fullback he put a kick through for himself and judged the chase beautifully, picking the ball up to score. Dodd smartly converted, with the scoreboard now reading 16-12.
With two minutes left on the clock Warriors winger Ken Maumalo registered a four-pointer of his own off the back of a Lino cross-kick. He went over in the south-west corner and Lino couldn’t convert, leaving it locked at 16-all at the half-time break.
The second half started just as Coach Andy Patmore would’ve wanted with Dodd crossing for a try in the 48th minute. Three sets back to back mounted the pressure on the men from across the ditch and another shift out to Dodd saw him cruise over with the sliding defence unable to cover. He couldn’t convert his own try, the score now 20-16.
Scores were level again in the 55th minute when Raymond Faitala-Mariner combined with Lino and the back rower went over to score. Lino couldn’t convert with it now 20-all.
Two tries in four minutes gave the Bulldogs a 12-point lead with the first one a piece of individual brilliance from Graham and the second Corey Thompson took a smart ball on the inside after a Lloyd Perrett tip on.
A stoppage in play soon after due to an injury gave the blue and whites time to set their options up and Graham smartly slotted a field goal over to put the lead out beyond two converted tries, 33-20.
Whilst the Warriors tried to turn things around, they were unable to do so, with the Bulldogs holding on for a 33-20 victory.
BULLDOGS 33 (McInally 2, Graham 2, Dodd, Thompson Tries; Dodd 3 Goals; Graham 1 Field Goal)
WARRIORS 20 (Allwood, Lino, Maumalo, Faitala-Mariner Tries; Lino 2 Goals)
At: Jubilee Oval, Kogarah