Back and with bark

Pay’s men enjoyed their sixth win of the season with a gritty 16-8 win over the Panthers on Saturday. Image: Shane Myers.

CANTERBURY coach Dean Pay has praised the efforts of the club’s young pups for providing enough motivation for the side to finish the final six rounds on a positive note after a tough year.

Dogs’ late season surge thrill

Pay’s men enjoyed their sixth win of the season with a gritty 16-8 victory over the Panthers in a result that places them four competition points clear of the bottom-placed Gold Coast Titans.
Bulldogs halfback Jack Cogger was pivotal for the Belmore outfit with a try and assist for Reimis Smith, while mid-season recruit Dallin Watene-Zelezniak was everywhere against his former club.
“I think it speaks volumes of our young blokes and how much the club and group mean to them and how hard they’re willing to work for each other,” Pay said.
“The determination in willing to stop tries is there for everyone to see. We’re still going to have our ups and downs.
“We’ve got the youngest group in the comp but tonight was a real step in the right direction. We need to make sure hopefully we can build on it.
“We’ve had a tough season … but they’ve stuck solid. We’re building towards something. We want to be a top-four team eventually.”
The match came with extra significance for the Bulldogs with Watene-Zelezniak and Corey Harawira-Naera facing their old club, while Aiden Tolman celebrated his 200th match for the club.
Tolman’s head was busted open in the first half with a knock before he was sent to the sin bin for a professional foul in a roller-coaster outing in his milestone appearance.
The Bulldogs will return to ANZ Stadium next week against the Wests Tigers before calling Bankwest Stadium home on a more permanent basis in 2020 while the Olympic Park venue undergoes its redevelopment.