2023 NRL Round 22: Bulldogs 23, Dolphins 22

Bundaberg’s Salter Oval hosted the Bulldogs’ round 22 clash with the Dolphins on a warm Sunday winter afternoon.


Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 23
Tries: Viliame Kikau 25th; Braidon Burns 31st; Jake Averillo 52nd; Blake Wilson 69th
Goals: Matt Burton 27th, 54th, 70th
Field Goal: Matt Burton 39th

Dolphins 22
Tries: Jamayne Isaako 16th; Anthony Milford 56th, 78th; Valynce Te Whare 64th
Goals: Jamayne Isaako 9th, 17th, 57th

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Matt Burton’s 39th-minute field goal has proven to be the difference with the Bulldogs edging out the Dolphins 23-22 at Salter Oval in Bundaberg.

The opening forty minutes were littered with 13 errors and 11 penalties, with the Bulldogs taking a three-point lead into the break, 11-8.

It looked like they would extend their lead early in the second half when Jacob Preston made a line break, but a loose pass to Jake Averillo saw the ball turned over. But it would be Jake Averillo who beat some lazy Dolphins defence which saw the Bulldogs lead by nine points with 26 minutes to play.

At the same stage Wayne Bennett threw Anthony Milford into the match and had an instant impact when he scored from close range, thanks to a break by Euan Aitken to reduce the deficit to three points.

With 16 minutes to play, the Dolphins took the lead for the first time in thirty minutes, with Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow making a break through the middle before Valynce Te Whare steamrolled Josh Addo-Carr and Reed Mahoney on his way to the line.

The lead was short-lived with Blake Wilson on the end of a lovely floating pass from Toby Sexton with ten minutes to go and Burton’s conversion making it a five-point ball game.

When Harrison Edwards lost possession with two minutes to play, the Dolphins had their chance to win the game. Milford went over for his second with an excellent set play, where Jarrod Wallace found Sean O’Sullivan in the lead-up.

Jamayne Isaako had a chance to win the game with a conversion out wide but pushed the kick across the face of goal.

It was the Bulldogs’ seventh win of the season while the Dolphins likely need to win four of their last five matches to make the finals in their debut season.


Embed from Getty Images

3 – Jacob Kiraz (Bulldogs)
2 – Anthony Milford (Dolphins)
1 – Matt Burton (Bulldogs)

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