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Team in Focus | Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs

The NSWRL is shining the spotlight on the 2019 Jersey Flegg Cup, selecting a weekly shortlist of the top five tries from every team in the top eight. Our team in focus this week are the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs. Check here every weekday for rolling coverage of the top five countdown.

The Bulldogs enjoyed a season with plenty of success, after scoring an equal amount of points as the table-topping Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks during the regular season.

Their campaign was bolstered by players like recent NRL debutant Jake Averillo and they were impressive in Week One of the Finals against the Newcastle Knights, earning themselves a 22-18 victory.

Their run came to an end in Week Two of the Finals series after a close 28-24 encounter against the Sydney Roosters but they have plenty to build on in the future with the likes of Zachary Rumble and Alex Seve there to steer the ship.


Bulldogs number five try

The Bulldogs number five try came against the Penrith Panthers in Round 20, where both teams couldn’t be separated in what was a 28-all draw.

The Bulldogs shifted the ball to the left through halfback Jake Averillo and they spread it to winger Balke Clayton who made a break down the touchline.

The Panthers defence was closing in so Clayton lobbed a chip kick over the top towards the uprights and Averillo was there to put it down just before the ball went out to score an impressive four-pointer.


Bulldogs number four try

Try number four for the Bulldogs came in the very same Round 20 fixture against Penrith, involving some quick thinking from five-eighth Alex Seve and winger Frank Kuresa.

Instead of putting on a long shift play from 30 metres out, Seve noticed an advancing defensive line and floated a cut-out ball over the top for Kuresa.

The winger had two defenders to contend with, but with a sudden turn of foot, Kuresa left them in his wake and dived in the corner at speed for his second of the afternoon.


Bulldogs number three try

Number five in the countdown was started and finished by current first-grader Jake Averillo, and it came in Round 13 against St George Illawarra.

The centre caught the ball at first receiver from his own red zone and threw a short pass before the line to send second-rower Matt Doorey into space.

Averillo wasn’t finished there as he backed up in support through the middle of field, latched onto Doorey’s pass at the 40-metre line and sprinted the rest of the way to score beneath the uprights.


Bulldogs number two try

Coming in at number two was a 58th-minute try from way back in 2019’s opening week of competition against Parramatta Eels.

The play started as a midfield hit-up by captain Javvier Pitovao, but after a late offload and a bit of razzle-dazzle football it ended with a stunning four-pointer.

No.14 Ryan Gray raced onto the ball from Pitovao before getting another offload away for halfback Paul Karaitiana, who then found halves partner Seve on his inside. After making headway through a trio of defenders, Seve offloaded for a third time in one play as winger Blake Clayton finished off the try.


Bulldogs number one try

Rounding out the Bulldogs’ top five countdown was and 85-metre effort that came in their Round 19 clash against the Sharks at Henson Park.

Five-eighth Jayden Millard found himself at dummy half when he opted to take the short-side route from his own end, sending No.4 Isaiah Tass down the touchline with defenders closing in.

Tass put a kick infield off his right boot before Blake Clayton picked up the scraps and scored under posts for a critical two-point conversion, which ultimately proved the difference as the visitors went on to secure a narrow 12-10 victory.

Acknowledgement of Country

Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs respect and honour the Darug and Eora nations, who are the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.