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The Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs have gone down to the Newcastle Knights 32-16 at McDonalds Jones stadium in the first game of the 2021 season.

The opening game of the year saw five Canterbury players make their club debut, while 26-year old Brad Deitz played his first NRL game.

Club Jersey Presentation: Round 1 v Knights

The Bulldogs were on the board early when winger Dallin Watene-Zelezniak dived over in the corner after collecting a brilliant long ball from half Kyle Flanagan to give the visitors an early 4-0 lead.

The Knights responded with a four pointer of their own when Daniel Saifiti split the Dogs defence and scored next to the post from a Mitchell Pearce short ball. Mitch Barnett converted the try to lead 6-4, before adding a further two points in the 14th minute thanks to a penalty conversion.

Kyle Flanagan again provided the pass to the Bulldogs second try when a short ball found Adam Elliott who spun out of Newcastle’s defence and find his way to the try line. Flanagan converted and Canterbury led 10-8.

Newcastle added their second and third tries of the match in the 31st and 38th minutes through Starford To'a and Mitch Barnett to lead 18-10 at the break.

The Knights continued to apply points to the scoreboard in the opening 15 minutes of the second half, adding a further two tries with Saifiti grabbing his second of the match and rookie centre Bradman Best collecting the other four-pointer.

Back-rower Barnett converted both tries and added another penalty goal, before Bulldogs winger Watene-Zelezniak collected a late try in the 77th minute to hand him an early season double.

Flanagan converted from the sideline, but the home side were too strong and claimed a 32-16 win.

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.