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Damage control in storm

2019 NRL Round 11 - Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs v Melbourne Storm, Belmore Sports Ground, 2019-05-26. Digital image by Grant Trouville © NRL Photos

A HEALTHY crowd of 13,131 got into the festival feel of the day when the Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs returned to their spiritual home of Belmore on Sunday, to take on the Storm. As well as a Family Fun Zone with an obstacle course, pass the football, a balloon artist, fairy floss and a Kindi farm, fans were treated to a half-time Dance Spectacular and a lap of honour to commemorate the 1980 and 2004 Premiership winning teams and the memory of the late Steve Folkes.

But too little too late for Bulldogs to unleash comeback

DESPITE Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs going down to Melbourne Storm 28-6, neither side really got into a groove in front of a healthy 13,131 crowd at Belmore, with the Storm guilty of four forward passes, while Canterbury struggled to find a way through the visitors’ defence.

Melbourne raced out to an 18-6 lead midway through the second half after leading 8-0 at the break before two more tries in the final eight minutes.

Canterbury’s last-tackle options left a lot to be desired following last week’s win over the Titans, with Kieran Foran noticeably quiet and rookie halfback Jack Cogger doing most of the kicking.

In a dire opening half, the Bulldogs failed to engage a healthy Belmore crowd with a high shot from Dylan Napa, who will star in the Origin opener, enabling the visitors to take a 2-0 lead via a penalty goal to Cameron Smith.

A gritty try from Sauaso Sue, who charged over Brodie Croft and carried three Storm defenders with him to the line, brought the crowd to their feet in the 51st minute.

However Storm centre Will Chambers crossed down the left edge in simple fashion to shut down any hope of a Bulldogs comeback in the 72nd minute.

Bulldogs coach Dean Pay said: “They tried really hard; I thought in the second half when we got to 14-6, we started to build a bit of momentum for ourselves but then had errors and didn’t really see the ball again.

“But I’m proud of the way they keep sticking in there; we’ve just got to learn to build more pressure.”

The Bulldogs will host the Canberra Raiders at ANZ Stadium on Saturday.