Last Time Played: Bulldogs v Tigers
Aided by two-try contributions from both centre Josh Morris and five-eighth Josh Reynolds the Bulldogs overcame a six-point deficit at halftime to defeat the Wests Tigers 32-20 at Allianz Stadium in Round 18
The victory was their sixth straight win of their current 11-game streak.
The gold and black led 10-4 at halftime, with tries to Joel Reddy and Beau Ryan both coming off Benji Marshall lob kicks into the in-goal – Ryan’s from a spectacular banana kick under the goal posts. Meanwhile Canterbury got on the scoreboard through a determined, bullocking try to Josh Morris down the left edge 10 metres from oranges.
The ’Dogs drew level inside the first minute of the second half when Ben Barba made a long break, linking with Morris who gave the final pass to Josh Reynolds to dive over under the posts. They grabbed the lead for the first time on the evening five minutes later when Barba threw an around-the-corner offload for Morris to bag his second try.
Tigers centre Chris Lawrence plunged over in the left corner to make it 16-14 with 27 minutes remaining before Barba extended the visitors’ lead, scooting around rookie Curtis Sironen for a 20-14 score-line in the 58th minute.
Tigers’ fans whooped it up when interchange Masada Iosefa scored a determined try in the left corner and Benji Marshall booted the conversion to level the game at 20-all with 16 minutes remaining. However, their joy lasted just four minutes, with Krisnan Inu selling the Tigers a massive dummy on the right edge to stroll over for a crucial four-pointer. Josh Reynolds added salt to the wound when he plunged over for his second try in the dying seconds.
It was remarkable turnaround from the Bulldogs who shot themselves in the foot in the first 40 minutes with uncharacteristic ill-discipline with the ball in hand – they completed just 47 per cent of possessions.
The Tigers caught their disease in the second half, completing only 66 per cent of their sets of six.
Overall the Bulldogs were clearly the stronger side running the ball, making eight line-breaks to the Tigers’ two.
This match may have been Lote Tuqiri’s NRL swansong: the off-contract dual international broke his elbow just eight minutes into proceedings.