Canterbury captain Josh Jackson was thrilled his players kept turning up for each other when they were scrambling in defence as they stunned the North Queensland Cowboys 27-10 in Townsville.
The Dogs turned around their indifferent start to the 2018 season and heap more misery on last year's grand finalists and Jackson was delighted with his side's improved attitude in registering their second win for the season.
"I thought they threw a bit at us, they were parked down our end, particularly in the second half, and I thought that we defended really well," Jackson said. "That was probably the most pleasing part of the performance for me.
"The way we kept turning up for each other on our tryline, that's all effort and attitude and I'm really pleased and really proud with the effort that the boys put in tonight."
The Bulldogs may have been guilty of letting the foot off the throttle slightly after getting to 25-0 lead after 50 minutes, but by that stage they had the measure of a Cowboys side that has now lost five in a row and continues to struggle for any kind of rhythm in attack.
"The first half really set it up for us and even though the second half was a little bit scrappy but that was still a great win for us," Jackson said.
Match: Cowboys v Bulldogs
Round 6 -
Venue: 1300SMILES Stadium
- Fox League
- LIVE PASS
"We stuck with our preparation, made sure that we really worked hard and just did everything that we possibly could to prepare for the game tonight."
Given the Cowboys' run of outs and the pressure heaped on Thurston about his form, the Bulldogs were ready for the Maroons champion to come out firing, and it showed in their performance. They were committed in defence, played with more energy and gave the Cowboys playmakers little space to move.
"I thought they'd be wanting to bounce back and there's been a fair bit of stuff in the media about a few blokes in the team so they're in a pretty similar position to what we were so I was expecting a pretty tough game," Jackson said.
The Bulldogs forwards dominated, with Origin props Aaron Woods and David Klemmer making huge metres while Raymond-Faitala Mariner continues to impress.
Twins Brett and Josh Morris were rock solid at the back and centre Will Hopoate produced some great touches, including a lightning fast ball to put Marcelo Montoya over for the Bulldogs' first try.