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The Bulldogs were shooting for their 16th win in a row, they trailed 19-0 at half-time and scored a try in the right corner in the dying seconds to trail 21-20.

Young Knights winger Neil Sweeney was a forlorn figure after spilling a kick which went straight to him in the 79th minute, Dogs fullback Luke Patten scoring the try which allowed El Masri to fulfil a childhood dream.

Winger Hazem El Masri, in his club record-equalling 95th consecutive game, was left to win the match and keep the chase for 19 wins in a row alive with a sideline conversion. Novocastrians were screaming in his ear from just a few feet away.

After a long preparation, El Masri kicked. The ball lifted, set course for the right upright and, at just the right time, it drifted in. Players embraced and leapt in the air. "To win so many games in a row, you sort of forget how to lose," five-eighth Braith Anasta said.