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   Apr 21

The Dogs’ bite is back: Kurri Kurri despatch Lakes to lift finals hopes

The Kurri Kurri Bulldogs have knocked over Newcastle Rugby League leaders Lakes to reignite their finals aspirations for 2015.
Nanjing Night Net

Bulldogs five-eighth Ryan Walker crossed for a double in the match with Lakes.

The Bulldogs defeated the Seagulls 34-28 at Cahill Oval on Saturday for their second win on the trot.

It follows last weekend’s 22-18 victory against fourth-placed South Newcastle after winning just one match in the first half of the season.

The back-to-back results put the Bulldogs(6 points) ahead of the Maitland Pickers (5) on the overall standings and in touch with the top five with five rounds remaining.

“We could be knocking on the door now,” Bulldogs coach Phil Williams said.

“The most pleasing thing was that everybody dug deep and played well for each other.”

The Bulldogs were without star playmaker Terence Seu Seu, who was unavailable for the round-nine clash, and Williams said that “made it an even better performance”.

Seu Seu’s replacement Hayden Grainger was stretchered off midway through the second half after he was kneed in the back by Lakes winger Marcel Ikinofo.

Grainger escaped serious injury, but was unable to finish the game. Ikinofo was sent off, reducing the hosts to 12 men for the rest of the fixture.

Lakes were leading by four points at that stage after being 22-14 up at the main break, which included a try from the opening play of the match.

Kurri Kurri finished stronger and piled on 20 points in the second half.

Bulldogs fullback Bradley Manton, described by Williams as an X-factor, scored a hat-trick of tries with five-eighth Ryan Walker crossing for a double.

Prop Mick Campton and winger Kyle Smith also grabbed four pointers for Kurri Kurri. Lock Mitch Cullen kicked three conversions.

Williams said Walker, Manton, Ben Wyborn, Jay Stevens and Daniel Abraham were his best performers.

Bulldogs forward Peter Cronin and Lakes hooker Chris Adams both spent 10 minutes in the sin bin for separate incidents toward the end of the game.

It was a different story for the Pickers on Saturday afternoon, going down 23-16 to the Goannas at Cessnock Sportsground.

Maitland opened the scoring with a try to Billy Towers but Cessnock replied twice from kicks to take a 12-6 lead into half-time.

Pickers fullback Matt Soper-Lawler then scored two of the next three tries and Maitland were back within two points but a fourth try to Cessnock and a field goal saw them home.

“I can’t fault out effort at all, but our execution probably let us down,” Pickers coach Trevor Ott said.

“We were right in it and were probably the ­better team for most of the game, but we just ran out of troops.”

Pickers trio Callen Edwards, Pat Robards and Jayden Rosberg all suffered injuries and were forced from the field.

In Saturday’s other real NRL matches, three-time defending champions and competition frontrunners Western Suburbs defeated Souths 20-10.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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