The Canterbury Bulldogs might have two losses from two games to their name in season 2017 but it certainly is not due to a lack of trying. Digging deep and showing their resolve, they almost recorded their first win of the season but fell just short.
They started the game strongly with Kerrod Holland crossing the line early but he was later forced to leave the field with a shoulder injury, resulting in a backline shuffle.
As the game went on, the Bulldogs were hit by other injury issues but that did not perturb them from performing. Instead, there were many positive signs shown by the players to stay as close as they did and to take the game down to the wire.
As for the Roosters, just last season, they had two wins after nine rounds in what was an abysmal season for them in that regard. Fast forward to 2017 and they have two wins from two games with halves duo Mitchell Pearce and Luke Keary again impressing.
As the game wore on, the Bulldogs had the control and were able to score again through Josh Morris. Though, as is often the case in rugby league, the momentum swung after Jake Friend kicked a 40/20 out of dummy half.
Two quick tries after following that to Boyd Cordner and Daniel Tupou plus a penalty goal saw the Roosters go into the break leading 16-8.
Despite a late Bulldogs comeback that threatened to derail their chances of a win, the Roosters scored a late try through Mitchell Aubusson which proved to the deciding try.
Both sides will have their fair share of injury concerns over the next week with Blake Ferguson (ribs) and Kane Evans (leg) going down for the Roosters and Greg Eastwood (leg), Kerrod Holland (shoulder) and Will Hopoate (concussion/possible fracture) for the Bulldogs.
With some fans criticising the goal-kicking as the reason for the Bulldogs loss, coach Des Hasler was disappointed with the number of tries his side conceded from kicks.
“I thought we could have managed things better,” Hasler said.
“Disappointing to concede three tries off kicks, little things like that.”
The loss, for the time being, puts the Bulldogs at the bottom of the ladder and in hindsight, Hasler would like at least two of those points.
“It is early in the season but you’d like to have at least two of those four points,” Hasler continued.
“We need to manage parts of the game better.”
Whilst he was pleased with how his side performed, Roosters coach Trent Robinson was somewhat disappointed with his side conceding errors and some ill-discipline.
“There was such a good vibe between the whole line but then there was such a bunch of errors,” Robinson said.
“We’re so far from home but we’re on the right track at the same time.”
Player of the Game:
3. Boyd Cordner
2. Luke Keary
- Josh Morris
Roosters 28 (Daniel Tupou 2, Boyd Cordner, Blake Ferguson, Mitchell Aubusson tries; Michael Gordon 4 goals) def. Bulldogs 24 (Josh Morris 2, Kerrod Holland, Brett Morris, Adam Elliott tries; Moses Mbye 2 goals) at Allianz Stadium. Half-time: 16-8. Crowd: 13,505.