The Bulldogs NYC side have had a 36-all draw in their final official trial against the Melbourne Storm at Belmore Sports Ground this afternoon.
It was a great start for the young pups with centre Isaac Pedro reading the Storm’s attack beautifully, taking an intercept on his own 30m line before then running 70m untouched to score. Halfback Zac Greene converted from just to the right of the upright, with the Bulldogs jumping out to a 4-nil lead after just four minutes.
The referee was blowing the pea out of his whistle in the opening 10 minutes and on that mark, Storm halfback Brodie Croft crossed for their opening four-pointer of the afternoon. Fullback Jesse Arthars converted to level the score at 6-all.
Just two minutes later Croft scored his second try off the back a string of offloads by his forwards. The halfback took the ball and snuck through a gap in the defence to score. Arthars again converted to put the visitors in front 12-6.
It wasn’t until the 29th minute that the Bulldogs could score again with winger Marcelo Montoya showing a great turn of speed. It was a Storm error that was capitalised on and with a quick shift and Montoya hitting the afterburners, he was over to score. Greene converted to level the scores up again at 12-all.
With Arthars unable to take the falling bomb, possession was gifted to the young pups just 10m out from the line. On just the third tackle, Greene threw a smart short ball to a charging D’Rhys Miller who then carried three defenders over the line to score. Greene made it three from three in the first half with the score now 18-12.
Another error at the back from the Storm handed the ball to the Bulldogs with just two minutes remaining before the half-time break. Once again the pups turned it into points, with the ball going through the hands and Pedro had the overlap and slid over in the north-east corner. Greene couldn’t convert from out wide and the Bulldogs went to the break leading 22-12.
The first half started in similar fashion to the way the first ended with two tries being scored in quick succession. Pedro registered his hat-trick in the 46th minute whilst front rower Julius Taavao crashed over four minutes later. Greene converted one of the tries with the scoreboard now reading 32-12.
The Storm were able to get themselves back in the game two minutes later with a big bopper of their own, Riley Leota, barging over. Arthars converted to close the gap. The score 32-18 after 54 minutes.
Just minutes later it was fellow front rower Ben Nakubawai who went over through the middle to score. Arthars converted from in front to leave the scoreboard reading 32-24.
A further two converted tries were scored by the Storm and at the end of 80 minutes scores were level at 36-all.
BULLDOGS 36 (I Pedro 3, M Montoya, D Miller, J Taavao, J Farrant Tries; Z Greene 4 Goals)
STORM 36 (B Croft 2, R Leato, B Nakubawai, D Pelo, A Leupepe Tries, J Arthars 6 Goals)
At: Belmore Sports Ground