The Bulldogs have pulled off a stunning upset victory, but it could have been a very different outcome if not for a late disallowed try.
The Canterbury Bulldogs have pulled off a remarkable upset victory over the Sydney Roosters, defeating the Tricolours by four points at Sydney Olympic Park.
The Bulldogs, who were without skipper Josh Jackson and reeling at the bottom of the NRL ladder, were coming off six consecutive defeats before Saturday afternoon’s clash at Accor Stadium, yet somehow toppled the Roosters 16-12 in dramatic scenes.
However, it could have been a very different outcome if not for a disallowed try in the 77th minute.
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The Bulldogs were leading by four points when Roosters centre Joseph Manu passed the footy to teammate Joseph Suaalii on the right wing, who scored next to the corner post.
But as Adam Keighran was lining up the conversion kick, referee Ben Cummins sent the decision upstairs to the Bunker, who checked for obstruction on Bulldogs five-eighth Matt Burton.
Replays showed that Suaalii’s right foot had kissed the sideline moments before he grounded the ball, and the on-field decision was overturned.
Rugby league truly is a game of millimetres.
The Australian’s Brent Read tweeted: “That was justice for Bulldogs. Should have been pulled up for obstruction. The contact was enough to impede Burton. Should never have got to sideline.”
The Bulldogs survived the final three minutes unscathed to secure their first victory since Round 1.
“That was awesome,” Bulldogs coach Trent Barrett told Fox League after the win.
“We needed it, I didn’t care how we got it.
“You never fault their effort, and I don’t like it when the club gets criticised – and we have all week.”
“I’m just really happy for the players, first and foremost, and for everybody in the club.”
Earlier in the second half, a classy 40-20 from Burton set up the Bulldogs’ third try of the day, with a perfectly-executed lofted pass from Matt Dufty finding Jayden Okunbor on the wing.
Star winger Josh Addo-Carr scored the opening two tries of the match, diving over twice in the first 20 minutes to get the Bulldogs off to a flyer.
The Bulldogs will next face the struggling Canberra Raiders at GIO Stadium on Friday, with kick-off scheduled for 6pm AEST.