Bulldogs go back-to-back in NYC
The Bulldogs' under-20s survived a second-half surge from the Sea Eagles to hold on for a 30-22 win at Lottoland in the Holden Cup on Saturday afternoon.
The Sea Eagles dominated territory and possession in the early exchanges, but it was the Bulldogs who opened the scoring when winger Kiko Manu ran onto a long ball to score in the right corner.
The visitors extended their lead shortly after when centre Morgan Harper powered over from close range, and things went from bad to worse for the Sea Eagles when Jayden Okunbor crossed for Canterbury's third after Manly had sent the kick off sailing out on the full.
The match threatened to turn on its head when Bulldogs fullback Jayden El-Jalkh was sent to the sin bin for holding down Cameron Davis after the bench forward had broken into the clear following a charge down.
It took just two sets for the hosts to take advantage of the numerical advantage with No.14 Trey Brown scooping up a loose ball that had been stripped to stroll over under the posts.
The Sea Eagles would have copped an eight-point deficit heading into half-time, but it wasn't to be as El-Jalkh strolled through some flimsy goal-line defence with his first touch back from the sin bin to give his side a 20-6 lead at the break.
Lock forward Jesse Martin sliced through the defence with a show and go to cut Canterbury's lead to eights point early in the second stanza, but the Bulldogs hit straight back through Manu who completed his double thanks to a terrific offload from El-Jalkh.
The Sea Eagles wouldn't go away however, with the hosts slashing the margin to a converted try after hooker John Neil spun out of a tackle to score out of dummy-half.
However, a needless shoulder charge halted Manly's momentum, allowing Adam Keighran to slot a penalty goal 15 minutes from full-time to push the lead back out to eight points.
Any thoughts of a Manly comeback were finally quashed when Alvin Maungaati spectacularly touched down in the 73rd minute to put the result beyond doubt, although Jade Anderson was able to peg one back at the death.
Bulldogs 30 (Kiko Manu 2, Morgan Harper, Jayden Okunbor, Jayden El-Jalkh, Alvin Maungaati tries; Adam Keighran 3 goals) def. Sea Eagles 22 (Jesse Martin 2, John Neil, Jade Anderson tries; Bilal Maarbani 3 goals) at Lottoland. Half-time: 20-6