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Dom Young was marched, Victor Radley was sent to the bin, three players were ruled out with head knocks and Kurt Mann played with a broken hand as the Bulldogs downed the Roosters 30-26 in a drama-filled Friday night clash. 

The Bulldogs ran in three early tries and were looking to have a night out in front of home fans before Accor Stadium descended into chaos, with Sam Walker, James Tedesco and Blake Taaffe failing HIA's, while Young was sent off in what played out to be eight minutes of madness. 

Down to 11 men when Radley was sent to the bin for a hip drop tackle later in the match, the Roosters showed resilience to claw their way back to a four-point deficit with five minutes to play but the two-man disadvantage proved too much.

The collisions also continued to hurt the Bulldogs in the second half, with Harrison Edwards taken from the field on a medicab with a neck injury to join Taaffe and prop Chris Patolo (shoulder) in the casualty ward.

With Mann battling through the pain of a broken hand for 60 minutes and winger Connor Tracey ignoring a calf injury due to the lack of replacements, the home side managed to hang on to their early lead.

After Reed Mahoney forced an error, the Bulldogs opened the scoring in just their first touch of the football with Taaffe creating an overlap out of the scrum and sliding over the line to score.

Matt Burton Try

Another costly Roosters error handed the Bulldogs another chance at points and it was Matt Burton who strolled over thanks to some nice footwork on the line from Mann. Burton kicked for a 12-0 lead.

The Roosters looked to be out of the gates when Young found space down the right edge but the English winger was pushed into touch after a superb try-saver from Taaffe.

Things went from bad to worse for the Roosters when Viliame Kikau spotted a hobbling Young in the defensive line and left the winger in his wake and Burton backed up on his inside to make it two-tries in six minutes.

Things looked like they couldn't get any worse for the Roosters when they lost Walker and Tedesco to concussions, however they did, when Young was sent off in the 27th minute for a high shot which ended Taaffe's night.

Young sent off

The Dogs went further ahead after slotting a penalty goal for the Young high shot before the home side capitalised on the extra man advantage with Sam Hughes crashing over seconds before the half-time buzzer. 

Despite being down a man, the Roosters came out of the sheds a far more composed side after the break and wrested their way back into the contest with Egan Butcher and Naufahu Whyte muscling their way over in the opening 10 minutes of the half.

Remarkably, the Tricolours were right back in the match with 25 minutes to play when Daniel Tupou tapped a Luke Keary chip kick onto Butcher who crashed over for a double. 

Egan Butcher Try

Come the 57th minute and Bulldogs fans couldn't believe their eyes when the Roosters made it four-straight when Angus Crichton turned the ball back inside for Joey Manu who wrestled his way over the line. Keary's conversion was wide and the Bulldogs hung on to a six-point lead. 

Home fans were handed a reprieve when Burton went over for a hat-trick, making the most of a tiring Roosters right-edge defence to stretch the lead back to ten. 

Down to 11-men after Radley was sent to the bin, the Roosters still refused to lie down and had the last say when Tupou broke through several tackles before scoring in the corner but that was as far as Trent Robinson's men would come to reducing the deficit.

Match Snapshot 

  • Roosters duo James Tedesco and Sam Walker and Bulldog Blake Taaffe all failed HIAs in the first half.
  • Roosters centre Joseph Suaalii left the field in the 49th minute for a HIA which he passed.
  • Bulldogs forward Harrison Edwards was stretchered from the field in the 62nd minute after a tackle attempt on Naufahu Whyte.

Tedesco sent for HIA

  • Bulldogs back-rower Viliame Kikau wreaked havoc on the Roosters' right edge in the first half, running 155 metres off six runs.
  • Roosters forward Victor Radley ran the ball for a team-high 167 metres and made 32 tackles before he was sent to the bin and placed on report for a hip drop tackle in the 73rd minute.
  • Bulldogs recruit Bronson Xerri returned to the NRL for the first time since a Sharks finals match in 2019.
  • Canterbury-Bankstown forward Josh Curran left the field in the 38th minute for a HIA but returned in the second half after passing the assessment.
  • Former Bulldog legends celebrated 20 years since their grand final win over the Roosters in 2004.

Play of the Game 

Matt Burton Try

What They said 

"I thought we started outstanding, that was exactly what we wanted to do, that sort of start has been building for a while with how we have been training and how we have been finding some of our best footy at times in games. We thought the first 30 minutes was the best footy we have played but we probably had our worst 40 minutes in the second half. Credit to the Roosters, they were really brave, they hung in there and they are not easy to beat whether they have got 12 players or 13." - Bulldogs coach Cameron Ciraldo. 

Bulldogs: Round 5

"Obviously we were really poor to start the game, they won a lot of the battle for the ball and battle for field position. They just jumped us for energy and they had good line-speed. Then in the second half it was absolute courage and clarity about how they wanted to play. I was just really proud of just the effort and the ability to stay on point, and everybody to dial into a game plan and go after it, and almost do the impossible." - Roosters coach Trent Robinson.

Roosters: Round 5

What's Next 

Both sides face tough road trips in Round 6 with the Bulldogs heading down to Melbourne to meet with the Storm fresh off an impressive home win over the Broncos. Meanwhile, the Roosters will head to McDonald Jones Stadium to face the Knights.

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.