The Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs NSW Cup side have held on for a 36-34 victory over the North Sydney Bears at Belmore Sports Ground this afternoon.
It was tight throughout but a missed conversion with two minutes to go proved to be the difference.
An error from the Bears gifted the Bulldogs the ball on the half-way line and from there the Bulldogs worked the ball through the middle and on the fifth tackle hooker Craig Garvey darted out and got a short ball off to Makahesi Makatoa who crossed next to the right hand upright. Five-eighth Dane Chisholm converted, with the score 6-nil after four minutes.
Three minutes later the Bears opened their account through winger Tom Hughes. It was off a Bulldogs error on this occasion that they were able to turn into points. Halfback Eli Levido converted with scores now level at 6-all.
From the following set the Bears were able to score again, this time through back rower Patrice Siolo. A smart grubber was put through and Siolo won the race to the ball and then got it down to score. Levido converted from next to the uprights, putting the visitors in front, 12-6 after 10 minutes.
In the 18th minute halfback Lindon McGrady was hit late when he put a kick through and Chisholm took it into his own hands to sort out, resulting in him and a Bears player being sent to the sin-bin for 10 minutes.
A mountain of pressure was put on the Bulldogs and they were good enough to turn it into points through Brad Keighran. It was a classic show and go from the NYC graduate Keighran and he sliced through the defence to score. He converted his own try with scores level again at 12-all.
A try each before the break kept each team on their toes and scores were level at 18-all at the half-time break.
Makatoa grabbed his second try just four minutes after the restart and when Renouf To’omaga ran a great line off Garvey to extend the lead. Chisholm converted on both occasions and the lead was out to 30-18.
The Bears answered back with one converted try but it was cancelled out quickly when Ray Moujalli carried three defenders over the line to score. Chisholm again converted with the scoreboard now reading 36-24.
Two late tries to the Bears were not enough and the side managed to hold on for a 36-34 victory.
At: Belmore Sports Ground