Matt Encarnacion, Western Sydney Correspondent
Bulldogs coach Des Hasler rues the glut of wasted second-half opportunities that let the Broncos slip away with a tenacious 18-12 victory at ANZ Stadium on Friday night.
The home side were forced to chase points after watching Brisbane race out to an early 14-0 lead. But a timely try to centre Josh Morris late in the first forty meant the Bulldogs went into halftime down just eight points.
"We didn't get off to a good start," Hasler conceded after the game. "They certainly had the weight of possession. I thought we tackled pretty well. To be down 14-6, you can say that it probably took a bit out of us."
"But I thought we had enough ball there in the second half to make amends. It would've been nice not to be chasing points but it's just the way it works.
"I thought in the second half, we got a big sloppy. We got a bit wayward with the ball and they were able to hang out. It's early days, but there's a bit to do."
The Bulldogs dominated the second half, forcing the Broncos to make 30 more tackles, but the visitors bravely hung on and eventually sealed the game in the 75th minute with a controversial try to winger Lachlan Maranta.
Head referee Shayne Hayne originally ruled no try due to a suspected obstruction in the lead-up, but video referee Henry Perenara concluded the defence was not impeded enough and overruled the decision.
Commenting, Hasler said his defender was better off "falling on the ground", and was keen to see what the match review committee's explanation was upon review.
"It's going to be interesting to see what the interpretation is. Referee probably needed to see it to call penalty, [a] shepherd, straightaway," Hasler said.
"In the old book I guess it's a shepherd and I guess the video referees have looked at it and probably thought that the defender wasn't impeded in any way. So he [the defender] would've been better falling on the ground. That was just one of those rulings that we're going to have to see what the explanation is."
Bulldogs captain Mick Ennis said he was disappointed with the loss but added there was plenty of time to improve.
"As Des said, we probably gave away too much possession early. [We] had our chances in the second half, and didn't capitalise. It's disappointing, but it's early days," he said.