It certainly was not the smooth, free-flowing Dogs team that have put teams to the sword in recent weeks, but they will take the win nonetheless – as they defeated their arch rivals the Parramatta Eels at ANZ Stadium last night.
It was looking like it was not going to be the Eels night early on, with the Eels losing prop Fuifui Moimoi on the first hit-up of the game, with the Tongan prop slipping, before being collected head high by his opposite number, Sam Kasiano.
The incident saw Kasiano placed on report, with Bulldogs coach Des Hasler concerned about the hit, and the repercussions for Kasiano.
“There was definitely contact there, so there’s a bit of concern,” he said.
“We’ll just have to see what the match review committee say on Monday.”
The Eels were spirited however to remain in the game, and they came out a different side in the second half, as they looked to get themselves back in the game.
Despite their efforts however, they just could not maintain the required intensity, resulting in the Dogs scoring some easy tries – due to poor tackle attempts from some Eels players.
Although they won by 20 in the end, Hasler knows that his side had to work extremely hard for their victory, and was pleased with the way his side held off the determined Eels.
“Bulldogs and Eels clashes are renowned for being tight clashes. They came into this game on the back of scoring 24 points against an excellent Manly side and they probably felt they owed their fans something as well,” Hasler said.
“I thought we started well and then lulled a little bit to let them back in. They were willing tonight, but I thought we did OK.”
Although Eels coach Stephen Kearney was frustrated by some of his side’s errors, he was pleased with the way in which his side performed, particularly against the form team of the competition.
“I think we did all we could, to be fair,” Kearney said.
“We played with a man down and by the end they were gassed, but I was really pleased with the way the lads fought.”