The Young Pups have notched up their third win of the Holden Cup season, with a hard fought 30-24 victory over South Sydney in perfect conditions at ANZ Stadium. In a tight finish, the Bulldogs held out a desperate Souths team in the last two minutes to post a six-point win.
Souths opened the scoring in the 15th minute when fullback Beau Cordtz got on the end of a last tackle grubber. The Young Pups then controlled the back-end of the first half, running in three tries to take an 18-6 lead before the visitors hit back to bridge the gap to six just before the break.
The Bulldogs opened their account in the 22nd minute after a sweeping play saw Kiki Manu cross in the corner. A 40/20 to halfback Michael Doolan then set up the Young Pups second try, with Adam Keighran selling a lovely dummy and crashing over from the resulting set in the 27th minute. Fullback Ben Cassell then charged onto an inside ball to score the Young Pups third in the 32nd minute.
In a tight second half, Souths drew level with a try to Campbell Graham in the 60th minute before the Bulldogs ran in two tries to take a 12-point lead midway through the half. Jayden Okunbor charged onto a short pass to score in the 62nd minute, before Adam Keighran made a great bust to put the Young Pups ahead by 12 with 15 minutes remaining.
A late try to Josh Saunders gave the visitors a chance but the Bulldogs held on to seal their third win of the 2017 season.
Bulldogs 30 (Adam Keighran 2, Kiki Manu, Ben Cassell, Jayden Okunbor tries; Adam Keighran 5 goals) def. Souths 24 (Beau Cordtz, Tyrone Taukamo, Campbell Graham, Josh Saunders tries; Adam Doueihi 4 goals) in the Holden Cup at ANZ Stadium. Half-time: 18-12