Brave bounce back for Dogs

2019 NRL Round 12 - Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs v Canberra Raiders, ANZ Stadium, 2019-06-01. Digital image by Gregg Porteous © NRL Photos

THE Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs were a different team in the second half after a horror start to the match against Canberra Raiders on Saturday, in which second-rower Raymond Faitala-Mariner and hooker Jeremy Marshall-King turned over possession in their team’s opening two sets.

When prop Ofahiki Ogden lost the ball in a tackle, it was Canterbury’s third error in just 10 minutes and the Raiders were always likely to punish them.

Raiders’ rookie centre Sebastian Kris was finally awarded a try in the 24th minute after winger Michael Oldfield outleapt Montoya for a cross-field bomb by Williams.

The Raiders went to the break with a 10-0 lead but the Bulldogs forced their way back after the interval.

Canberra were unable to hold out halfback Jack Cogger in the 59th minute after he beat Croker and rolled over into the in-goal area in a cover tackle by Bateman to ground the ball.

Montoya then finished off a movement in which Cogger, five-eighth Kieran Foran and fullback Nick Meaney combined to again send Crichton racing down the sideline and he passed inside for the Fiji centre to score and level the scores at 10-10 in the 63rd minute.

However, the game turned on two 70th minute strips – the first a one-on-one effort by Croker on Smith and the second by Canterbury forward Adam Elliott on the next tackle, which incurred a penalty within easy kicking range for Croker.

Obviously disappointed, coach Dean Pay said: “They’re devastated, we don’t want to be where we are. We’re working as hard as we possibly can to get off the bottom of the ladder.

“With what we’ve got, we’re young and still developing in our footy.

“We have some really good periods; we need to make sure we have those periods for longer in the game.”