Full Time
6:00pm Fri May 12, 2023
Round 11 - Accor Stadium, Sydney Olympic Park / Wanngal - Crowd: 14294

Match Overview

The Warriors have secured a well earned two points before their bye week, outclassing the Canterbury-Bankstown 24-12 at Accor Stadium on Friday.

On the Warriors first possession they received a penalty, with young Bulldogs winger Blake Wilson tackling Dallin Watene-Zelezniak in the air. The home sid survived that attacking raid, but a few minutes later Shaun Johnson would put in an early grubber kick for Josh Curran, who had no Bulldogs player within 10 metres of him when he scored the try.

The game would become an arm wrestle for the next 15 minutes or so, with either halfback doing their best to gain the upper hand for their side through the long kicking game. Hayze Perham would give the Warriors the advantage when he threw a terrible pass at Max King, who put the ball down.

On the ensuing set, it was as if the Bulldogs were giving Addin Fonua-Blake a guard of honour as the big man strolled pass the defence courtesy of a sublime pass from Dylan Walker. It was AFB's 5th try of the season, a number that has him sitting atop the list of try-scorers for New Zealand.

Soon after, the Bulldogs would get a penalty to advance up the field and were looking threatening. It all came to a halt courtesy of another errant Perham pass, the Dogs fullback this time throwing an ill-advised cutout that was intercepted by Adam Pompey. 

Pompey would run 80 metres the other way before being reeled in by Bulldogs chasers, but the resulting momentum was too much for the Blue and White's to hold off. Johnson made a brilliant eyes up play on tackle 2, kicking across the field to a wide open Watene-Zelezniak, who scored in the shadows of half time to extend the lead to 18. 

The Bulldogs started the 2nd half in the exact way necessary if they were to come back from 18 down. Burton's bomb forced a Warriors mistake, and after forcing a couple of repeat sets, the home side were in, with Harrison Edwards strolling past Tom Ale to dive over under the posts. 

The Bulldogs had a couple more opportunities but couldn't quite find the finishing touch as the Warriors defence held firm. A monster kick return from Marcelo Montoya put the Warriors on the attack, but Johnson tried another early kick, which on this occasion was the wrong play.

When the Bulldogs got a penalty off the next set, things were looking up for them. The crowd was into the game and a try to set up a grandstand finish seemed inevitable. Corey Waddell would then make a mess of the play the ball and let the Warriors off the hook. 

The result was put beyond doubt in the 67th minute, when young five-eighth Ronald Volkman made something out of nothing, grubbering through to himself on the last tackle before putting a step on Perham and diving over for his first career try in the top grade. 

The Bulldogs would score a consolation try with 5 minutes to go through Jayden Okunbor, making the final score 24-12 in favour of New Zealand.

Next week, the Bulldogs are back at home on Sunday afternoon against the Titans, while the Warriors will have a much needed bye to freshen themselves up.

3. Shaun Johnson

2. Addin Fonua-Blake

1. Freddy Lussick