On Saturday night Round 17 continued with a showdown between two of the season’s worst performers, the Bulldogs improving their last-grasp fight for the finals with a tidy 24 – 12 win over the Sharks at Bluetongue Stadium.
Following their dominant win, the Bulldogs have moved up two spots to number 12 on the ladder and if they can string a few more together could still be around come September. The Sharks on the other hand, failed to do anything of mention without Gallen, Barrett and Snowden and have dropped into the 14th spot on the ladder.
Canterbury were in control from the kick off, scoring the first of their eventual four tries just three minutes in when Blake Green got over. Bryson Goodwin had a spotless night with the boot converting all the tries including the first to give the Dogs six points after four minutes of play.
Four minutes later the Sharks were awarded a penalty, Scott Porter kicking it successfully to give Cronulla their first two points.
Then in a head-spinning first quarter display, the Bulldogs got in with another two unanswered tries before the Sharks were even able to score their first.
First big Jamal Idris scored in the 15th minute and then the flying Ben Barba had another electrifying game, getting his first of an eventual double three minutes later. After Goodwin booted both conversions, Canterbury were comfortably in front 18 – 2.
A few minutes later Blake Ferguson finally got Cronulla’s first four-pointer with a 21st minute try converted by Porter, narrowing the margin 18 – 8.
But before the first half was over the Bulldogs sealed the deal with their fourth try, Barba completing his double in the 33rd minute after jumping on a kick from Porter and then running 40 metres, so they had a total of 24 points and a very tidy lead to take to the sheds.
In a gritty second half the Dogs failed to score any more points, but their powerful first half performance had been more than enough. The Sharks did manage to add some respectability to the scoreboard with Dean Collis scoring their second in the 76th minute, but without the conversion they were still down 24 – 12 on the full time siren.
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