There were moments of the game were they were in control and moments where the game hung in the balance but in the end, the Canterbury Bulldogs held for a gritty 24-20 win over the Sydney Roosters.
Not as fluid or clinical as the week before, the win moves the Bulldogs into the top 4 for the first time since the start of the season.
The Bulldogs failed to get off to a good start, though, with the Tricolours scoring two tries to take a 12-0 lead early.
But as he did last week, Brett Morris showed his class since returning from injury, to snag a double for the Bulldogs, playing a huge part in his side’s win.
As for the Roosters, they were buoyed by some great play from halfback Mitchell Pearce, who has made a successful return to the NRL of his own since his off-field incident.
Drawing praise from all corners, Pearce was the Roosters best man in the contest but his club now find themselves in a predicament.
If they are to make the top eight, they must win all their remaining clashes. To further complicate matters, young star Latrell Mitchell left the field with a leg injury.
As the Bulldogs looked to be running away with the contest after some crafty play to set themselves up for a win, the Roosters scored a late try to set up a grandstand finish.
It was a late try to Daniel Tupou that set up such a finish, although it was not to be for the Roosters, as they were resigned to their 12th loss of the season.
Despite the win, Bulldogs captain James Graham says the club and the players are not getting ahead of themselves.
“We’re not getting ahead of ourselves,” Graham said.
“Before today’s game we were only two losses from slipping out of the eight.
“We won’t be giving ourselves too much of a pat on the back. We know there’s a lot of hard work that lies ahead.
“We’ll take confidence from the three wins on the spin. That’s going to build a lot of confidence for us. You might as well start practicing doing that now rather than going into it blind in September and October should we be there.”
The Roosters have a shining light in the form of Pearce and he drew praise from coach Trent Robinson.
“That was a big display from ‘Pearcey’ out there,” Robinson said.
“He directed us around with some beautiful kicking early in the game, and then about 60 minutes in, he started to cramp.
“I didn’t know whether I was going to have to get him off, and then he eventually gets us back within a try to win the game, but it wasn’t to be.”
Player of the Game:
3. Brett Morris
2. Mitch Pearce
1. Curtis Rona
Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 24 (Brett Morris 2, Curtis Rona, Josh Jackson tries; Moses Mbye 4 goals) defeated Sydney Roosters 20 (Daniel Tupou 2, Latrell Mitchell tries; Sio Siua Taukeiaho 2, Jackson Hastings 2 goals) at Allianz Stadium. Half-time: 12-12. Crowd: 7,741.