Dragons finals dream dashed by Bulldogs
The St George Illawarra Dragons' dreams of a finals berth have been dashed by a 26-20 loss to the Bulldogs at ANZ Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
Departing Bulldog Josh Reynolds score the game's first when a Brenko Lee grubber kick back inside sat up nicely for the playmaker in the fourth minute.
Although an ankle injury suffered in the process of scoring ended Reynolds's game prematurely.
The Dragons had their first try in the 14th minute when Joel Thompson benefited from skipper Gareth Widdop knocked a bomb contest backwards to Tariq Sims who offloaded to the eventual try-scorer.
Two tries in three minutes to Bulldogs duo Will Hopoate and Marcelo Montoya saw the Bulldogs bounce out to a 14-6 lead.
However a try to Jason Nightingale in the final two minutes of the half put the Dragons within two at the break.
Tim Lafai's ability to find space following a slick Widdop pass saw the Dragons hit the lead for the first time in the 53rd minute via fullback Matt Dufty.
A penalty goal 10 minutes later from Widdop extended the Dragons' lead to a converted try.
The Bulldogs levelled the scoring back up in the 66th minute when a ridiculous Hopoate offload put prop Aiden Tolman over the white stripe.
The Bulldogs hit the lead again in the final eight minutes when Michael Lichaa scooted over from dummy half – which would seal the away side's six-point win.
Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 26 (Josh Reynolds, Will Hopoate, Marcelo Montoya, Aiden Tolman, Michael Lichaa tries; Moses Mbye 3 goals) defeated St George Illawarra Dragons 20 (Joel Thompson, Jason Nightingale, Matt Dufty tries; Gareth Widdop 4 goals) at ANZ Stadium. Half-time: Bulldogs 14-12. Crowd: 21,582.