Witten by Kristy-Lee Harris (NSWRL)
Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs managed to just scrape through with a 20-18 win against a hungry Newcastle Knights side at ANZ Stadium on Saturday night.
The sides lacked control and confidence in the first 15 minutes of the match, until Knights hooker Chris Randall scored the first try of the match.
Bulldogs winger Isaiah Tass bit back with the help of superstar halfback Lachlan Lewis to score in the 20th minute and reduce the margin to 6-4.
Teammate Corey Hawawira-Naira backed that up four minutes later after he pushed his way through a broken Knights defensive line to put the Bulldogs on top.
Tass went over for his second try in the 33rd minute to extend the lead to 14-6 and put the home team on track for the win.
The Bulldogs kept the scoreboard ticking over shortly after play resumed in the second half after Renouf Toomanga scored to make it 20-6.
The Knights needed something special and winger Mitchell Andrews answered the call when he sprinted through a wide gap to reduce the deficit.
A back-and-forth battle continued until Bulldogs hooker Kerrod Holland went down with injury in the 62nd minute, leaving his side in a vulnerable state and putting the onus on key players Toomanga and Lewis to get the Bulldogs home.
Knights’ Justin Worley scored a minute after Holland went down to set the stage for a tense finish but the Bulldogs held their nerve to cling on for a 20-18 win.