NRL: Dogged Bulldogs outlast brave Knights

Sam Perrett of the Bulldogs is tackled by Trent Hodkinson of the Knights during Canterbury's win over Newcastle yesterday. Photo / Getty Images
Sam Perrett of the Bulldogs is tackled by Trent Hodkinson of the Knights during Canterbury's win over Newcastle yesterday. Photo / Getty Images

Canterbury did it tougher than expected before consigning a spirited Newcastle side to their 14th straight defeat at Hunter Stadium.

There was nothing decisive about the 28-14 win but Knights coach Nathan Brown warned against writing off the Dogs come September.

"The Dogs are that type of team where they win lots of games like that," Brown said when asked if it was the performance of a genuine premiership contender.

"Once September comes - and getting in that top four is going to be crucial for all the sides - they have got a lot of big men and big men tend to help sides (win big matches).

"The last small side to win the comp was the Dragons five or six years ago but more often than not, sides with big people win and they have plenty of big people.

"Conditions may play a part and where they finish on the ladder may play a part but I certainly think there got some personnel there to do very well and give a good account of themselves."

It was two of the Dogs' biggest men who came up with crucial plays in the second half with their side under the pump.

They had led 14-2 and appeared comfortable going into the break after first half tries to Michael Lichaa and Josh Morris and with Knights danger man Nathan Ross out of the game with a hamstring injury.

But two tries in the space of two minutes early in the second half to Knights winger Brendan Elliot turned the contest on it's head.

It was suddenly 14-all and the Bulldogs suddenly had the wobbles but the momentum shifted back again after Sam Kasiano charged down a Jarrod Mullen kick and James Grahams forced an error from the Knights five-eighth as he tried to clean up to gift a try to Bulldogs halfback Moses Mbye.

Sam Perrett crossed late to seal the win.

"We felt the momentum changing and we felt like we had the Dogs shot there for a bit and on the back foot," Knights skipper Trent Hodkinson said.

"But then we came up with an error off a scrum that hurt us a bit and the game changed after that and they started to get on top.

"We did well to get back into the game but just disappointing to come up with a crucial error at a crucial part of the game."

Bulldogs coach Des Hasler expected a battle in the wet conditions and was glad to leave Newcastle with the two competition points.

He was critical of the 10 metres for both sides claiming the interpretation ruined the game as a spectacle.

- news.com.au

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