After promising signs in the first half, it was all downhill in the second for the pups with the Eels running in seven tries to two, in a 36-12 defeat in NYC.

After taking the lead 12-10 early in the second half, it fell away with the Eels running away with it. 

There were a number of changes to the side with five-eighth Adam Keighran and front rower Soni Hala out of the side with Zac Greene and Lopeti Mafi coming into the starting side. Mario El Boustani was named on the interchange bench to make his first appearance for the year.

The opening 10 minutes was all the Bulldogs with penalties and field position putting the young pups on top and they turned it into points with back rower Luis Strickland crossing for the four-pointer. It was a short ball that a charging Strickland ran on to score. Greene converted to put the side in front 6-nil.

15 minutes later the Eels opened their account through winger James Gammidge. The Eels took it up through the middle, compressing the defence and when a cross-kick was put over to the right. Gammidge took the ball easily and he had a free run to the try line. Halfback Troy Dargan couldn’t convert and the Bulldogs held on to a 6-4 lead.

With three minutes left in the half the Eels took the lead through back rower Tyrell Fuimaono. Close to the line, a play was put on and Fuimaono ran a great line to go over. Dargan converted on this occasion to put the home side in front 10-6 and that’s how it stayed through until the half-time break.

The opening to the second half appeared promising with El-Boustani scoring in the 46th minute and with Greene converting, the pups were in front 12-10.

That’s where the joy ended for the pups with the Eels running in five second half tries and with four of them being converted, plus a penalty goal made the scoreboard tough to read for the blue and whites.

EELS 36 (Gammidge 2, Fuimaono, Mati-Leifi, Stowers, Dargan, Twal Tries; Dargan 4 Goals)

Def.

BULLDOGS 12 (Strickland, El-Boustani Tries; Greene 2 Goals)

At: ANZ Stadium