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DCE, Koula fire as Sea Eagles put Bulldogs to sword

The Sea Eagles have cruised to a comfortable 42-24 win over the Bulldogs in the penultimate round for both sides at Accor Stadium on Sunday. 

Sea Eagles captain Daly Cherry-Evans fired and with the support of Lachlan Croker and speedsters Tolu Koula and Jason Saab, the seven tries to four effort provided an entertaining afternoon out. 

The Bulldogs shot out of the blocks and were offloading at will but it was a smart dummy half play from Jake Averillo and Blake Wilson that helped send Corey Waddell over the line against his former club. 

A swing in possession towards the Sea Eagles allowed the visitors to strike on the right edge with Koula splitting between Viliame Kikau and Josh Addo-Carr before finding Saab in support for a long-range try.

Lachlan Croker's ability to get the Sea Eagles an extra set after a 40/20 proved crucial with the hooker finding Tof Sipley with a short ball close to the line as Canterbury's defence turned non-existent around the ruck. 

Daly Cherry-Evans Try

The Sea Eagles were over again before half-time with Raymond Tuaimalo Vaega too strong for Wilson from close range to finish off a backline movement down the left edge. 

An offload from Tuaimalo Vaega after the break sent Koula downfield and it didn't take long for Daly Cherry-Evans to take advantage of clumsy goal-line defence for Haumole Olakau'atu to stroll over untouched.

The Bulldogs had a nice moment when Averillo got over the line in his final home game at Canterbury as he prepares for a move to the Dolphins in 2024 but the Sea Eagles continued the momentum shortly after.

Jake Averillo Try

Croker's successful afternoon was continuing with a strong effort from close range before Koula and Saab were in space again after points to extend the Sea Eagles' lead out to four converted tries. 

Two tries in three minutes through Kyle Flanagan and Toby Sexton gave Bulldogs fans something to cheer about before a penalty goal to Sea Eagles debutant Gordon Chan Kum Tong ensured there was no chance of a comeback.

Match snapshot

  • The Bulldogs led the competition in missed tackles with 899 in 2023 leading into the game and that continued with another 45 on Sunday.
    The Sea Eagles are now leading the competition in 40/20 kicks with six so far this season with Lachlan Croker kicking the latest.
  • The Sea Eagles' win was just their second in their past seven clashes at Accor Stadium.
  • The Sea Eagles have now won nine of their past 10 games against the Bulldogs at all venues.
  • The Bulldogs have now conceded 435 points in their past 11 games.

Play of the game

There's nothing better than watching pure speed with Tolu Koula and Jason Saab's long-range efforts throughout the afternoon among the highlights of the clash.

Jason Saab Try

What they said

"We came here to get a result. We haven't had a great record here in the last decade. We wanted to win on the scoreboard and there were some good signs for us. I thought Tolu Koula was really good for us and it was good to see Gordon make his debut. We've been hard to beat this year and we want to finish strongly next week and it's Jake Trbojevic's 200th game." - Sea Eagles coach Anthony Seibold.

"I thought we started really confidently and moved the ball around and has some joy there. I thought we looked good when they put their shapes on and were going to their threats. It took one play for our left edge to not do their jobs and it was hard to claw back from there. When you're killing yourself with play one errors and inviting the opposition down the other end of the field when you've got someone like Cherry-Evans you're going to make life hard." - Bulldogs coach Cameron Ciraldo.

NRL Press Conference: Bulldogs v Sea Eagles - Round 26, 2023

What's next

Both sides' seasons will come to an end in Round 27 with the Sea Eagles looking to end on the right note in front of their home fans at 4 Pines Park with a clash against the Wests Tigers while the Bulldogs travel to the Gold Coast to take on the Titans. 

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.