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Bulldogs edged out of a Magic Round win

The Raiders have edged past the Bulldogs 24-20 in a gritty opening game of Magic Round.

Two errors inside the opening 20 minutes proved costly with the Raiders taking a quick lead. Xavier Savage opened the scoring for the opposition with Sebastian Kris crossing shortly after to make it 12-0.

Despite an early lead taken by the Raiders, the Bulldogs refused to let up. Around the half-hour mark, the Bulldogs flexed their grit to put the Raiders under pressure.

A solid attacking set ending in a grubber from Drew Hutchison, left a loose ball bouncing in the in-goal. Rapana took an air swing before colliding with Savage. Jacob Preston pounced, adding the Bulldogs' first points.

Jacob Preston Try

It wasn't long after and the Bulldogs were back on the attack with a flying Foxx screaming down the wing. Veteran Kiwi Rapana interfered with his attack though and Ashley Klein called back the professional foul before sending him to the bin.

Josh Papali'i joined him moments later after making a hip-drop tackle on Viliame Kikau. The tackle resulted in an injury for the Bulldogs' star backrower, who was forced from the field for an assessment of his ankle. He was cleared to return to the field in the second half.

With the Raiders pair off the field, the Bulldogs took full advantage to add further tries through Stephen Crichton and Matt Burton to take a 16-12 lead at the break.

Stephen Crichton Try

Matt Burton Try

Things looked promising for the Blue and White when Jacob Kiraz crossed just two minutes into the second half, but the Raiders were just as determined to produce a win.

Jacob Kiraz Try

Down 20-12 with half an hour to play, Canberra needed something special and got it via teenage prospect Ethan Strange. The playmaker laid on a crisp ball to send Hudson Young through. Another effort from Young nine minutes later gave the opposition the lead again.

With just 40 seconds left on the clock, tensions spilled as the Bulldogs closed in on another attacking effort. A long, tiresome game got the better of them though, with the Blue and White unable to complete a do-or-die effort to clutch the points they needed to match it with their Canberra counterparts.

Instead, Ricky Stuart's men survived a nervous final quarter to claim the Raiders sixth win of the season and close the Bulldogs out of their first Magic Round 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.