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The Wests Tigers have moved back into the top eight with a gritty 14-10 win over a disjointed Bulldogs outfit in front of over 18,000 fans at ANZ Stadium.
A sloppy first half saw Ivan Cleary’s men trail 10-4 at the break, yet the Bulldogs were unable to go on with the job in the second half with their inept attack proving their downfall in the four-point loss.
The Bulldogs opened the scoring in the 8th minute when Brett Morris sliced over off a well-executed left side raid.
The next try, however, came twenty minutes later but it was well worth the wait. A spectacular cut-out pass from Benji Marshall caught out Canterbury winger Marcelo Montoya and saw Corey Thompson cross over out wide.
Both sides were locked up at one try apiece at the break yet goal-kicking was the difference with Moses Mbye’s boot giving the Bulldogs a 10-4 lead.
A 53 per cent completion rate in the first half had proved the Tigers’ undoing and while their 76 per cent in the second half was a significant improvement, it was the Bulldogs’ own poor ball-handling that invited Wests back into the contest.
After a strong first half built on the back of an 88 per cent completion rate, Dean Pay’s men went on to complete just 62 per cent of their sets in the second forty and their attack suffered as a result.
The first try of the second half went to David Nofoaluma after the winger flew over in the corner in the 53rd minute.
The next try was one of sheer determination and bravery when Chris Lawrence put his body on the line to ground a Tui Lolohea grubber.
Despite handing the Bulldogs several chances, the Tigers held on for an uninspiring 14-10 win and will need to improve astronomically if they are to overcome the Roosters next weekend.
Meanwhile, the Bulldogs enjoy the week off.
Wests Tigers 14
Canterbury Bulldogs 10