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A big crowd were on hand to see an intensely fought match at Accor Stadium, with Bulldogs coming from behind to beat rivals Parramatta 22-18 in a thriller. 

In an end-to-end game, the Dogs were on the attack early, only thwarted from scoring the first try by a forward pass ruling.

Instead, it was the Eels who were first on the board, with the try to Blaize Talagi coming from some impressive backline play out to the right of the field, where the youngster had moved out to the wing to cover for the injured Maika Sivo.

The Bulldogs hit back soon after however with back-to-back efforts to take the lead, with Stephen Crichton, who was backing up from Origin duty, finishing off a backline play and finding open space to the line. 

Stephen Crichton Try

The next try came five minutes later to Blake Wilson, after he was set up by a nice flick pass from captain Crichton.

In a see-sawing opening half, Parramatta were pressuring in attack and had three tries disallowed, but were still able to go to the break with a lead after Will Penisini crossed in the 33rd minute.

Halfback Mitchell Moses helped set up the play with a stepping run through the middle, before finding Bryce Cartwright who was able to wrap the ball around behind his defender to find his centre.

Will Penisini Try

Canterbury suffered two injury blows in the opening half, with both Bailey Hayward and Josh Curran ruled out of the match after showing Category 1 symptoms after suffering head knocks. 

Despite their setback, the home side were still playing entertaining football and thought they had hit the lead just before the halftime break, with Wilson running in after collecting a massive Matt Burton bomb which was too much to handle for the Eels. However, that was overruled by the Bunker for players being offside from the kick. 

Leading 12-10 at the break, the Eels went further ahead early in the second half, with the Bulldogs left to rue a kick out on the full from Reed Mahoney which turned over possession.

Kelma Tuilagi was rewarded for a strong run for his second try of the season, with Moses kicking the conversion for an 18-10 lead. 

While the first half saw the Eels go unrewarded on multiple occasions despite making it over the line, that was the case for the Bulldogs in the second, with an obstruction call, a grounding on the dead-ball line and passing after being tackled amongst the reasons for being denied. 

Kelma Tuilagi Try

They were finally able to post a second-half try after Connor Tracey sliced through  and found his captain in support. Burton kicked the conversion to only trail 18-16 with just over 10 minutes remaining in the match, setting up a grand stand finish.

The Bulldogs provided for their vocal fans, with Wilson scoring under the posts in the 74th minute, supporting a great effort from his fullback Tracey, who had made another key break.

Burton kicked his third conversion with the win pushing the Dogs up into seventh place on the ladder and saw them claim three straight wins for the first time since 2019.

Match Snapshot

  • A crowd of 45, 496 was on hand to watch the match. 
  • Eels winger Maika Sivo was a late withdrawal on game day with a minor hamstring strain. 
  • Bulldogs 18th player Jake Turpin was activated in the first half with the home side losing both Bailey Hayward (16th minute) and Josh Curran (38th minute) to head knocks. Turpin had already played a half of football in the NSW Cup earlier in the day. 
  • At halftime, the Eels led 12-10, thanks in part to 54% to 46% possession and 17/22 to 14/19 completion rate.  
  • Eels fullback Clint Gutherson made his 200th NRL appearance.

All Tries – Bulldogs v Eels

  • Bulldogs forward Kurt Mann was put on report and sent to the bin for a crusher tackle in the 55th minute.
  • Canterbury forward Jacob Preston left the field with a suspected broken ankle in the 70th minute.
  • The Bulldogs remain the only team undefeated in home games in 2024.
  • Prior to this game, the Eels had previously won eight of their past nine games against the Bulldogs.
  • The Bulldogs secured three straight wins for the first time since 2019.

Play of the Game

Bulldogs captain Stephen Crichton showed why his has been such a key signing for the club, scoring two tries of his own and also setting up his winger Blake Wilson for the first of his two with a beauty of a flick pass. 

Blake Wilson Try

What They Said

Eels: Round 14

"In the second half, we had two or three sets there on their try line and probably went away from how we wanted to play. We came up with a couple of sets that we weren't happy with and turned the ball over. That was probably the time when they were waiting to be put away and we didn't and just where we turned the ball over at the back end there. I think it was about the 74th minute where we turned it over and enabled them at 18-16. That's not the first time that's happened, we had a couple at the front end of the year that we need to come up with a way to fix that. It was a fair game of football, but we didn't get it in the end." - Parramatta interim coach Trent Barrett

Bulldogs: Round 14

“I thought last week was gutsy, but I thought tonight took a little bit more than that. We just had Terry Lamb in there who just addressed the boys and said that's the gutsiest one he's seen in a long time. To have someone of that stature think of a game like that; it was really pleasing. (When we lost three players to injury and had a sin bin, I was thinking) I just want to see us keep sticking to our process and we've practiced for that, we've trained for that. We've trained different people in different positions and we didn't expect as many as that, but it was just good to see all the work we've been doing under adversity is paying off and we put ourselves in a decent position after 14 rounds." - Bulldogs coach Cameron Ciraldo

What's Next 

Next week, the Eels will host the Roosters on Saturday night at CommBank Stadium, while the Bulldogs will have the bye.


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.