Bulldogs Point to last up loss as Turning Point
The Bulldogs head into their sudden death semi-final to the place where they last tasted defeat almost seven weeks ago.
The 38-28 loss against the Roosters however could be seen as the match which turned the Bulldogs season around.
They have since mounted six wins on the trot and halfback Moses Mbye puts their resurgence down to that loss.
“I think it was one of our better performances this year,” he said.
“We obviously started slow and they got out to a bit of a lead, (but) we clawed our way back into the game.”
“(Coach) Des was quite happy with that performance. We need to put together something like that, but from the kick-off.”
After some inconsistent form and an embarrassing loss to the Sharks at their spiritual home of Belmore, the Bulldogs were sliding out of the top eight.
Their misery looked to be continuing when the Roosters raced out to an early 22-0 lead, before the Bulldogs rallied to score three quick tries before half-time.
A superb cut out pass by Mbye to Corey Thompson early in the second-half, gave the Bulldogs a slight lead and an unlikely upset was on the cards.
Ultimately the Roosters showed their class and were able to score two late tries to steal a win, but it was ultimately the Bulldogs who benefitted from the result.
“We took a lot out of that game and then after that we’ve come on a bit of a run,” David Klemmer said.
“A lot of what we took out was how we stuck in there.”
When asked which player got the Bulldogs on the front foot in that game, Mbye gave a wrap to his skipper.
“James Graham stood up, he lead from the front, he’s our captain and that’s who we turn to in situations like that.”
Klemmer wants his side to take a leaf out of the Storm’s book when it comes to upsetting the minor premiers.
“They’ve (Roosters) got strike-power, you saw it last week they can score anywhere on the field,” he said.
“You just got to stay with them for the 80 minutes and you’re going to get your chance to have a crack at them.”
Sam Kasiano put it more simply, the Dogs can’t afford a slow start.
“We don’t want them to start fast like last time; they put something like 20 points on the board.”
Though giving nothing away the big Samoan is probably eager to go toe-to-toe with Roosters forward Kane Evans, who put a huge shot on him last time they met.
“I loved it, it was physical, that’s what we love,” he said.
WORDS: Eddie Webeck