Bulldog spirit shines through in brave win
CANTERBURY lost outgoing five-eighth Josh Reynolds to a hamstring injury, but showed fighting spirit to beat Canberra 16-10 last night.
Down to 15 men after they also lost inspirational captain James Graham to concussion early, the Bulldogs overcame a halftime deficit to hold out the Raiders at ANZ Stadium.
Reynolds, who signed a four-year deal with the Wests Tigers on Wednesday, limped from the field late in the first half to a standing ovation from Bulldogs fans.
He will have scans to deter- CANTERBURY CANBERRA Referee: Crowd: mine the full extent of the injury. But their remaining 15 players exhibited all the passion the injured pair have become famous for.
Halfback Moses Mbye set up two tries in his first 80-minute stint in the halves in more than a month, while secondrower Adam Elliott also scored two tries.
Fullback Will Hopoate was also terrific on return from a serious facial injury. In his first game in seven weeks, he ran 295 metres and set up Elliott’s second try midway through the second half to give the Bulldogs the lead. After they trailed 10-4 at the break, Josh Morris changed the momentum of the match when he ran onto an Mbye pass before Elliott scored the match-winner in the 58th minute.
The Bulldogs then held out for a nervy final 20 minutes as the Raiders repeatedly attacked their line without success. Earlier, Canberra forward Josh Papalii looked a man on a mission when he laid on the Raiders’ first try of the night.
A day after being sacked from the Australian Test side from a pre-season drink- driving incident, he charged onto an Aidan Sezer ball before putting on a late offload for Jarrod Croker to score.
Canberra then took their halftime lead as hooker Josh Hodgson strolled under the posts following a 60-metre break from winger Nick Cotric.
But they were unable to build any pressure in the second half, sinking to a second straight loss.
Meanwhile, South Sydney captain Sam Burgess has escaped punishment for an apparent shoulder charge on Manly captain Daly CherryEvans.
Burgess collected a blindsided Cherry-Evans high and off the ball the lead-up to a first-half Sea Eagles try in the Rabbitohs’ 48-6 loss on Friday. Cherry-Evans did not touch the ball in the play.
However Burgess was not charged by the match review committee yesterday.
Joshua Jackson of the Bulldogs is tackled by Joeseph Leilua of the Raiders during the Round 9 NRL match at ANZ Stadium last night