2023 NRL Round 5: Bulldogs 15, Cowboys 14

Matt Burton slotted an incredible field goal to lead the injury-hit Bulldogs to a nail biting win over the Cowboys.


Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 15
Tries: (3) Jacob Preston 18th, 67th; Josh Addo-Carr 79th
Goals: (1) Matt Burton 20th

One-Point Field Goal: (1) Matt Burton 84th

North Queensland Cowboys 14
Tries: (2) Tom Dearden 6th; Tom Chester 59th
(3) Valentine Holmes 7th, 13th, 61st

Embed from Getty Images


Pre-game the Bulldogs lost Viliame Kikau to a head knock, forcing a backline reshuffle. The Cowboys shifted their starting props, with Mitchell Dunn coming in for Griffin Neame who went back to the bench. 

Raymond Faitala-Mariner left the field for a HIA in the opening minutes, which he would later fail. 

In the wet, both teams traded line breaks but it was Tom Dearden’s vision that opened the scoring – chipping and regathering to score.

Jayden Okunbor was sent to the sin bin for a hip drop tackle on Jason Taumalolo, allowing Valentine Holmes to kick the Cowboys eight points clear.

With a man in the bin the Bulldogs were still playing expansive football, leading to a try for Jacob Preston who latched on to a deft Matt Burton grubber, bringing the score to 8-6. 

A horrible poke to the eye took Max King from the Bulldogs’ pack while Preston dislocated his finger in the same tackle just before half-time. 

It took 20 minutes of play in the second half for either defence to crack, with Cowboys second rower Heilum Luki offloading for fullback Tom Chester to score. The conversion from Holmes took the score to 14-6. 

Preston scored his second of the evening from close range, put through a gap by Reed Mahoney. Burton missed the relatively easy conversion and the score stayed 14-10 with 10 minutes remaining. 

Holmes missed a penalty conversion with nine to play, giving the Bulldogs a glimpse of hope, although the home side’s errors were mounting quickly. 

It was a grandstand finish as a superb backline play with just seconds remaining saw Josh Addo-Carr cross in the extreme left corner.

Burton lined up the game-winning conversion but hit the goalpost, sending the game to Golden Point extra time.

What a finish it was. With just 30 seconds remaining Burton chipped over the defence for a flying Addo-Carr who chipped again from the regather.

One play the ball later and it was Burton’s left foot nailing an exquisite drop goal from 30 metres near the sideline to win the game. 


Embed from Getty Images

3 – Jacob Preston (Bulldogs)
2 – Jacob Kiraz (Bulldogs)
1 – Max King (Bulldogs)

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