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The Roosters have started their Holden Cup premiership defence with back-to-back victories courtesy of a 34-12 win over the Bulldogs on Thursday evening. 

The Bulldogs got off to the best possible start when winger Alvin Maungaati finished off a slick backline move to give his side a 6-0 lead after 10 minutes. 

That's how the score stayed until the 23rd minute when a Jesse Marschke grubber clean bowled two Bulldogs allowing Adam Pompey to pounce on the loose ball just inside the dead-ball line. 

Pompey's four-pointer was the kick-start his side needed, and the Roosters hit the lead moments later when Victor Radley sliced straight through before unselfishly offloading to Sitili Tupouniua who scored next to the posts. 

A scrappy first half finished on a sour note with both sides coming together for some push and shove, with Bulldogs five-eighth Adam Keighran and Roosters centre Jarred Anderson sent to the sin bin for throwing punches. 

Marschke should have extended the lead seven minutes into the second half but butchered a golden opportunity when he spilled the ball with the line wide open. 

They wouldn't be denied moments later when Anderson made up for his earlier indiscretion with a powerful effort from dummy-half with his first touch back from the sin bin before Marschke scored untouched to make it 22-6.  

The Bulldogs pegged one back with 17 minutes to go when Morgan Harper burst through the middle and then found fullback Jayden El-Jalkh backing up on the inside to make it a 10-point game. 

There would be no fairytale comeback however, as Ben Marschke made the most of his late call-up with two late tries to seal the 22-point win.  

Roosters 34 (Ben Marschke 2, Adam Pompey, Sitili Tupouniua, Jarred Anderson, Jesse Marschke tries; Jesse Marschke 5 goals) def. Bulldogs 12 (Alvin Maungaati, Jayden El-Jalkh tries; Adam Keighran 2 goals) at Allianz Stadium. Half-time: 12-6.

This article first appeared on - Words: Martin Gabor  

Acknowledgement of Country

Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs respect and honour the Darug and Eora nations, who are the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.