Dogs hold on till last bark

IN a match which could’ve gone either way, the Bulldogs narrowly went down to the Panthers 16-10 at BlueBet Stadium, Penrith, on Friday night.

An error riddled start saw the Bulldogs gifted early opportunities but a couple of big trysavers, denied the Dogs any points and they went into half time down 12-0.
Celebrations quickly ceased for the home fans however when star Nathan Cleary was seen marching up the tunnel after aggravating a hamstring injury.
Despite losing their halfback, the Panthers continued to build pressure in the second half and the Bulldogs conceded another two points after Josh Curran was penalised.
The Bulldogs looked to get on the board after Josh Addo-Carr finished off a slick left side shift however the try was denied.
Ten minutes later, the Dogs were finally on the board when a charging Matt Burton pushed through to reduce the deficit 14-4.
With five minutes on the clock, Panthers added the extras after a Kikau infringement penalty handed the premiers another shot at goal before Jacob Kiraz spun his way over on the right edge for a consolation try.
Discipline in defence hurt the Bulldogs with Cameron Ciraldo’s men missing 56 tackles compared to Penrith’s 32, even though the Bulldogs had four Panthers’ premiership winners in their line-up.
Coach Ciraldo said they arrived with confidence and left with even more.
“Physically we look really good and the more we train the better we’ll get,” he said.
“I really liked the start of the game with both teams going set for set. It looked like semi-final intensity at the start, enjoyable to watch and I thought we handled ourselves really well.”
The Bulldogs next do battle with the Raiders on Friday from 6pm at Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane.