The Penrith Panthers have wound up doing it easily against the Bulldogs, winning 30 points to 4 to maintain their perfect record in 2021.
The game started off going exactly to script, with the Dogs almost making a mess of the kickoff before Jack Hetherington got penalised twice in two minutes for high tackles. The Panthers then scored with their first opportunity in Bulldog territory, spreading it wide to put Charlie Staines over the line.
The viewer would've been forgiven for thinking the Panthers would begin running away with it there and then, however the Bulldogs dug in and looked like scoring on multiple occassions.
The Penrith defence didn't really look like breaking however, and the Bulldogs ended up with nothing to show for a persistent attacking raid.
It seemed as if it'd only be 4-0 going into half time, however Dallin Watene-Zelezniak made a rare mistake by offloading to no one while coming out of his own end. Spencer Leniu was there to pick it off and he streaked away to score right on the siren, making it a 10 point lead for Penrith at the break.
The second half began and continued much like the first, with both sides in an arm wrestle right up until about the 55th minute. The Panthers then shifted it right again for Charlie Staines to score untouched for the second time.
That was the try the pried the floodgates somewhat open. Five minutes later, Stephen Crichton put in a deft little grubber kick that was collected by Paul Momirovski who scored the try.
In the 68th minute, the Panthers made something out of nothing, with Cleary stripping the ball one-on-one before getting an offload away that saw his side take advantage of a huge overlap and send Matt Burton over for his 9th try in his last nine games.
What followed was a contender for team try of the year. Matt Burton took an intercept and looked like he'd get run down before linking up with Brian To'o. To'o found Burton back on the outside, before he linked up with Crichton who scored. It sounds a bit bland when reading it, but it got the crowd well and truly on their feet.
The Bulldogs were able to score a late consolation try against 12 men to avoid going 3 straight games against Penrith without scoring.
Next week, Penrith are up against the Tigers at Leichhardt Oval, while the Bulldogs have a bye ahead of Origin I.