Just when the Canterbury-Bankstown club needed a boost, the Intrust Super Premiership NSW side provided exactly that.
As off-field dramas overshadowed the Bulldogs NRL team's end to the season, the club's state cup side were proving themselves a serious threat to other teams embedded in the competition's top four.
Finishing the regular season in fourth, a Finals Week One loss to the Penrith Panthers shook the Bulldogs into action – the club then mounted back-to-back wins over the Wyong Roos and St. George-Illawarra Dragons respectively, winning through to a Grand Final clash with the Newtown Jets.
Inspired by the return of ISP-turn-NRL-regular Rhyse Martin, the Bulldogs late surge towards the premiership was one that opposition teams could not contain.
Lining up against the competition's fairy-tale team on the year's biggest day, the Bulldogs were quite simply just too good for the younger, less experienced Jets outfit.
The Bulldogs' 18-12 win saw the side to their first Intrust Super Premiership NSW (nee NSW Cup) title since 2011.
The Key Number
The Bulldogs ran for more metres (39,557) than any other team in the Intrust Super Premiership NSW competition this season, with only the Dragons shading them on average run metres per game (1527 to 1521).
The Bulldogs had four of the competition's top 10 biggest metre eaters at the year's end. The side's robust outside backs in Josh Bergamin, Mason Cerruto and Jayden Okunbor were supported by ever-present prop Lachlan Burr amongst the competition's most productive ball carriers.
For the Bulldogs, the future is now.
Bustling fullback Mason Cerruto has a future in the top grade, and 2019 may just be the year that the Camden Rams junior makes his rise to the NRL.
Cerruto played a starring role in the Bulldogs Grand Final win, running for 202 metres from 21 carries and breaking 11 tackles en route to claiming the premiership.
A proven winner, success follows the skilful and tough No.1 – The 2018 premiership the second-consecutive ISP title for the former Panther, who also claimed the competition's honours with Penrith in 2017.
Bulldogs Edge Jets in ISP Grand Final
How It Will Be Remembered
To cap a remarkable season, the Bulldogs flexed their muscles and went on to thump the Redcliffe Dolphins 42-18 in the week following their Intrust Super Premiership success.
Such was the mentality of the club heading into the annual interstate fixtures, celebrations were kept under wraps following the 18-12 Grand Final win over the Jets.
Steve Georgallis wanted his team to be remembered as the year's best, and that they will be.
HIGHLIGHTS | Canterbury-Bankstown v Redcliffe