With both teams missing players due to Origin, it was a question of who would step up in their absence, as the Canterbury Bulldogs and the St George Illawarra Dragons did battle at ANZ Stadium in an entertaining contest that finished 16-14 in favour of the home side.
With the game in the balance at 16-14, Dragons five-eighth Jamie Soward had a chance to level things up after the siren when his side was awarded a penalty, but he was unable to make the attempt for goal.
In front of a crowd of just under 23,000, it was the Dogs who burst out of the blocks and looked set to record a solid win – before a Matt Prior try gave them some nervous moments in the final five minutes.
With the game kicking off later than usual (close to disposable electronic cigarette 8pm) due to there only being 4 games in an Origin affected round, Bulldogs captain Michael Ennis believes that the game became an arm wrestle due to the late start.
“It was slippery in patches,” said Ennis.
“It’s just amazing how much that extra half an hour delay makes with the dew and the slipperiness of the surface.
“But it was alright. It was the same for both sides. It was just a tough slog.”
The loss for the Dragons was their fifth in six games, as coach Steve Price lamented his side’s ill-discipline, something that ultimately cost them.
“We gave ourselves a chance,” said Price.
“There were a lot of good individual performances … but we are coming up with too many crucial errors and penalties in vital situations.”
3. James Graham
2. Tim Lafai
1. Sam Perrett