Sport Rugby League Dog power: Canterbury make it seven straight

Dog power: Canterbury make it seven straight

Josh Morris, who laid a match-saving tackle.
Twitter Facebook Reddit Pinterest Email

Canterbury have maintained their spot at the top of the NRL ladder with a hard-fought 16-12 win over the fast-finishing Warriors in New Zealand.

It took a desperate tackle from Bulldogs centre Josh Morris on a flying Shaun Johnson with three minutes to go to seal their seventh straight win in front of 17,673 fans at Waikato Stadium.

The result took the Bulldogs out to a four-point lead at the top of the table, although Manly can close that up again when they host Newcastle on Monday night.

In what was a home fixture in Hamilton, the Bulldogs withstood some early Warriors pressure before slowly taking control.

Their big pack were again impressive, with prop James Graham a stand-out.

The Warriors produced plenty of effort in staying close on the scoreboard and showed plenty of spirit to hit back with six minutes to go with a try to centre Ben Henry.

Johnson knocked over the sideline conversion to get them within four points.

He then looked like he might snatch a late victory as he sprinted down the sideline, but Morris forced him out before the corner.

The Warriors made a dominant start, getting most of the early field position.

But the Bulldogs held tight until the 12th minute when the in-form Ben Matulino forced his way through three tacklers for a converted try.

The Bulldogs’ first real attack come until midway through the opening spell when Tony Williams, who was a regular threat, produced a deft kick ahead.

The Warriors held out, but that marked a change in momentum.

The Bulldogs finally got on the board thanks to a great ball from giant prop Sam Kasiano for unmarked winger Mitch Brown to dot down.

They hit the front early in the second half when five-eighth Josh Reynolds put Graham through a hole.

They went further ahead after they were able to keep the ball alive, despite a monster hit from Warriors winger Manu Vatuvei on centre Chase Stanley, for lock Greg Eastwood to score.

Halfback Trent Hodkinson missed the conversion but pushed the Bulldogs out to a 10-point margin with a penalty, before Henry’s converted try set up a lively finish.