Bulldogs one step closer to the wooden spoon after comeback falls short against Tigers

Wests Tigers winger David Nofoaluma

Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs fans will be left scratching their heads after another spirited performance failed to produce results against their Western Sydney rivals the Wests Tigers in a one-point nail-biter.

Meanwhile, the Tigers will be hoping the win keeps their fledgling finals hopes alive, sitting at ninth, two wins off the trot with six rounds remaining in the regular season.

The Sunday afternoon Bankwest encounter always promised to be an entertaining affair and the match lived up to its billing despite the mistake-riddle performances.

The scoring opened early when the versatile Moses Mbye was delivered a simple stroll-over after another bullocking Luciano Leilua run in the sixth minute before converting his own try.

The Dogs would hit back soon after with Nick Meaney to go level after 14 minutes and put the pressure back on a Tigers outfit that has struggled with mental fortitude in recent weeks.

However, in a wild eight-minute run, the Tigers were able to pile on three tries through a double to Garner and a deserving try to the perennially brilliant David Nofoaluma who carved up Canterbury all afternoon.

Wests were leading 22-6 and it appeared the Dogs were in for even more punishment until a Kieran Foran-inspired fightback would see Marcelo Montoya and debutant Matt Doorey cross the line, reducing the deficit to just a single converted try before the break.

After the oranges, both sides were able to test the opposition without finding a killer blow to kickstart the second half of action.

That was until around the 15th minute of the resumption when both sides injected super sub variants – Jeremy Marshall-King for the Bulldogs and Josh Reynolds for Wests.

While Reynolds failed to inspire (3 runs for 41 metres and 2 missed tackles), Jeremy Marshall-King appeared a man on a mission.

He provided try assists to Aiden Tolman and Kerrod Holland to give Canterbury the lead for the first time with 12 minutes left.

Disappointingly, Kieran Foran would leave the field with 10 minutes left are innocuously rolling his ankle on the Bankwest turf while walking to the line.

However, the Tigers were saved the ignominy of a 16-point collapse when a barn-storming Joey Leilua reminded everyone of his talent.

He fended off weak defense to give the Tigers a chance to win with a field goal – duly delivered by the returned half Luke Brooks.

Wests Tigers 29 (Mbye, Garner 2, Nofoaluma, J. Leilua) def  Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 28 (Meaney, Montoya, Doorey, Tolman, Holland)

NRL News Player of the Match

3 Points – David Nofoaluma

Ran for more than 250m, racked up 13 tackle busts along with 3 line breaks a Try Assist and a Try.

Had a hand in most of the Tigers good work and terrorised the Bulldogs defenders with elusiveness. Increasingly demanding to be noticed in the mix of New South Wales wingers come Origin time.

2 Points – Kieran Foran

Kieran Foran once again dragged the Bulldogs kicking and screaming back in to contention when it looked like the game was getting away from them.

Endlessly frustrating watching his undeniable brilliance only to see him again fail to finish due to unfortunate injury.

1 Point – Jeremy Marshall-King

Rattled after losing his starting Number 9 role to Sione Katoa, Marshall-King seemed determined to prove his worth, jumping out of the blocks immediately to give the Bulldogs the lead.

Disappointing his team could not hold on for the result.

Canterbury Bulldogs half Kieran Foran

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