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Dogs get the points in NRL trial

A strong first half was followed by a less than stellar second, with the Sharks going down by 16-12 to the Bulldogs in their NRL trial match at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium. 

Leading 12-0 at the break with both teams fielding their full-strength line-ups, the Sharks committed far too many errors and put themselves under too much pressure in the second period, three Canterbury tries seeing the Bulldogs come away with the trial win. 

While the final result was disappointing, the Sharks holding their opponents scoreless for some 50 minutes of the match was a positive, however to give up three tries late in the contest left the Cronulla side somewhat disappointed in the final result. 

At the 13 minute mark the Sharks posted first points, a shift of the ball to the left saw the ball go through the hands of Matt Moylan, to Will Kennedy, the fullback hitting Ronaldo Mulitalo on the chest with his cut out pass, with the winger sliding over in south-eastern corner. 

Chad Townsend added the extras from touch and it was 6-0 Sharks. 

The Bulldogs appeared to have responded soon after, however Mulitalo managed to drag his opposition into touch metres from the try line and after defending a number of sets, the Sharks would then add to their advantage at the other end with a play similar to their first score. 

Following a scrum inside the Bulldogs 20, the combination of Moylan, with Josh Dugan as a decoy, to Kennedy and then Mulitalo, saw the winger score his second and from an almost identical position wide out Townsend was again successful with the kick, making it 12-0 to the Cronulla side. 

While errors made life difficult at times for the Sharks, they managed to defend their line strongly and take the 12-0 lead to the half time break. 

Some 10 minutes into the second period and on the back of three successive sets on the Sharks line the Bulldogs managed to get across the stripe, exploiting an overlap, with Corey Allen, passing to Will Hopoate, before Dallin Watene-Zelezniak touched down wide out and despite Kyle Flanagan being unable to kick the conversion the Dogs were on the board and it was 12-4 Sharks. 

The Bulldogs had the better of the running and the field position for the next 10 minutes, resolute Sharks defence holding them out, with the scores unchanged at the three-quarter time drinks break. 

From there, following a raft of changes, the Bulldogs rallied, Adam Elliott scoring after a determined run, the try converted from close range, then hooker Brad Deitz put the Sharks opponents in front, touching down under the posts despite the attention of a handful of defenders. 

Try as they might, with a long range Connor Tracey break amounting to nothing, then more errors which let the Bulldogs off the hook and it was a win for Canterbury in the final hit out for both teams before the season gets underway in two weeks time. 

Another positive for the Sharks was the fact there were no injuries, with Dugan not returning to the field after half time but expected to be fit to take his place in the team come round one. 

For their opening match of the season against the Dragons on March 14, Aiden Tolman and Toby Rudolf will also be available for selection. 

 

SHARKS 12
Ronaldo Mulitalo 2 tries, Chad Townsend 2 goals
lost to
BULLDOGS 16
Adam Elliott, Dallin Watene-Zelezniak, Brad Deitz tries 2 goals