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ISP Season Review

An incredible season for the Intrust Super Premiership team saw them become Premiers after a pulsating 18 to 12 win over the Newtown Jets in front of close to 9000 fans at Leichhardt Oval.

The Premiership was the club's 12th in this Grade and the first since 2011.

Of the many positives to come out of the year, the one that stands out was the never-say-die attitude of the team in many close matches.

After a strong end to the season, where they won six of their last seven matches to finish fourth on the ladder, the team suffered an immediate setback after going down 28-18 to the Panthers in the first week of the Finals.

This only galvanised the side, however, with two nerve jangling wins over the Wyong Roos (34-24) and St George (28-26), setting up a showdown with old rivals the Newtown Jets at a packed Leichhardt Oval to decide the Premiership.

In a game that had everything the Bulldogs recovered from an early 10-0 nil deficit to score just before half time through Nu Brown and set up a nail-biting second half.

With momentum shifting both ways at was left to outstanding young centre Morgan Harper to make a one on one steal with ten minutes to go to score in the corner and a Rhyse Martin penalty goal close to full time sealed the match and created some history for a group of players that were a credit to the club.

There were so many success stories from the year.

Coach Steve Georgallis steered the ship superbly, bringing his vast experience to bear over a talented group of players, while several of the team benefitted from making their NRL debuts during the season. Renouf To'omaga, Nu Brown, Lachlan Lewis, Rhyse Martin and Ofahiki Ogden all tasted First grade football at some stage and brought that experience back to the InTrust arena.

Others provided the engine room of the team with Asipeli Fine, Josh Cleeland, Lachie Burr, Francis Tualau, Mason Cerruto and Josh Bergamin all playing major roles throughout the year.

Others with NRL experience played their part at vital stages with Matt Frawley, Clay Priest, Reimis Smith and Chris Smith all being major contributors and it was testament to the depth of the squad that they were able to overcome severe injuries to Frawley, Fine and Priest that caused them to miss the Grand Final.

The Finals also saw an outstanding performance from Zac Woolford as he took out Man of the Match honours in the Jets clash, while the emergence of exciting young centre Morgan Harper was great news for the Bulldogs moving forward.

By winning the Grand Final the team qualified for an Interstate match-up with the Queensland Premiers the Redcliffe Dolphins at ANZ Stadium on Grand Final day and in the end, the Bulldogs were crowned State Champions following a commanding 42-18 win.