Matt Burton is a talented player as we all know and he showed another skill to his set, slotting the winning field goal for the Canterbury Bulldogs to defeat the Manly Sea Eagles.
It was not just Burton, however, as a collective Bulldogs effort saw them come out of nowhere to record a stellar come-from-behind victory.
Manly quickly burst out of the gates as they looked to buck a six-game losing streak and seemed on their way to doing so with three tries in seventeen minutes.
Though the Bulldogs resolve and character under coach Mick Potter shone through, eventually leading to the chance for Burton to slot the field goal to which he happily obliged.
The opening stanza was all Manly and it showed, as they tore the Bulldogs defence to shreds.
The Sea Eagles’ first try came when Toafofoa Sipley bust through the Bulldogs line and found Dylan Walker, who then found Manly captain Daly Cherry-Evans to score.
Manly then had a second soon after as Cherry-Evans turned provider with a harbour bridge pass for Christian Tuipolutu to do the rest.
The third try came via Martin Taupau, as he burst through close to the line. The try was a fitting way for Taupau to say goodbye to the Manly faithful.
Momentum slowly turned, however, as the Dogs fought their way back into the contest. Desperate defence held the Bulldogs out once but not twice.
Their opening try came after Raymond Faitala-Mariner took the line on, offloaded, found Kyle Flanagan and he shuffled the ball across to Braidon Burns to score.
Things got even more interesting before the break in the torrential conditions, when Zach Dockar-Clay burrowed his way over from dummy half.
At 16-12, the match was evenly poised.
As both sides traded sets to begin the second half, it would be Manly who scored first.
Cherry-Evans was once again calling the shots as he grubbered early and found a storming Haumole Olakau’atu who scooped the ball up and scored.
Not to be outdone, the Bulldogs again showed their resiliency and levelled the scores with just five minutes to go.
Tevita Pangai Junior scooped the ball up brilliantly and then offloaded for Flanagan to get his name on the scoresheet.
Burton missed the conversion but a towering bomb proved too much for Manly young gun Kaeo Weekes to handle.
From there, Burton, as cool as you like, slotted the winning field goal and ended the Dogs season on a high.
Manly coach Des Hasler lamented his side’s performance, admitting it was not good enough in the end.
“We should have finished the game and we didn’t,” Hasler said.
“It was a disappointing result on the back end of a disappointing six or seven weeks.”
The character and resolve that was shown by his players is what impressed Bulldogs interim coach Mick Potter the most.
To slip behind 16 points and then pull that back shows some guts and passion they have for the club so I’m really proud of the players,” Potter said.
“Our players have some character about them; I’m really proud of that and they should be proud of that too.”
NRL News Player of the Game
3. Martin Taupau (MAN)
2. Raymond Faitala-Mariner (CBY)
1. Braidon Burns (CBY)