Canterbury Bulldogs snap six-game losing streak with victory over New Zealand Warriors

NRL Round 3: Bulldogs v Warriors Marcelo Montoya of the Bulldogs scores a try during the round three NRL match between the Bulldogs and the Warriors.
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Raymond Faitala-Mariner of the Bulldogs is tackled.

Tuimoala Lolohea of the Warriors takes the high ball.

Bulldogs players celebrate after scoring a try.

Bulldogs players celebrate after scoring a try.

Michael Lichaa of the Bulldogs looks to kick.

Warriors players look on during the round three NRL match between the Bulldogs and the Warriors.

Tuimoala Lolohea of the Warriors is tackled.

Bulldogs players celebrate after scoring a try.

Michael Lichaa of the Bulldogs looks to pass.

Warriors celebrate a try during the round three NRL match between the Bulldogs and the Warriors.

Brad Abbey of the Bulldogs is tackled.

Michael Lichaa of the Bulldogs passes during the round three NRL match between the Bulldogs and the Warriors.

Captain Ryan Hoffman of the Warriors is tackled.

Greg Eastwood of the Bulldogs is tackled.

Captain James Graham of the Bulldogs talks to the referee.

Simon Mannering of the Warriors passes.

Issac Luke of the Warriors passes.

Shaun Johnson of th Warriors looks to take a conversion.

A General view of Forsyth Barr Stadium during the round three NRL match between the Bulldogs and the Warriors.

TweetFacebook NRL Round 3: Bulldogs v WarriorsHighlights of the round three NRL match between the Bulldogs and the Warriors at Forsyth Barr Stadium on March 17. Photos: Teaukura Moetaua/Getty ImagesThe Bulldogs eased the pressure on coach Des Hasler by notching their first win of the season, downing the Warriors 24-12 in the first ever NRL match to be played in Dunedin.

Hasler’s side were staring down the barrel of an 0-3 start to the year – a situation that would have verged on the intolerable for their success-starved fans. While the two competition points were key, the Bulldogs again failed to convince, although their defence was sound. The result also snapped a six-game losing streak after the Dogs lost four on the trot at the back end of 2016.

While it was officially a Bulldogs home game the majority of the 10,000 who turned up in Dunedin were Warriors fans, and they created a partisan atmosphere in Forsyth Barr Stadium.

The Warriors went into the match as favourites, and they dominated possession and territory through the first 20 minutes, camping on the Bulldogs’ line but without any success. The best opportunity came in the 12th minute when an under pressure Shaun Johnson rolled a well-timed kick into the in-goal but an out-reached Ken Maumalo hand couldn’t finish the job.

The Bulldogs conceded five penalties and received none in the first 15 minutes – two for high shots – and as a result, spent the majority of the time defending. Eventually that took its toll and when yet another ball was kicked into the in-goal, Bodene Thompson wo opened the scoring in the 16th minute.

It was one-way traffic, but when the Bulldogs finally ventured into Warriors territory, after a couple waves of attack, they struck. From 15 metres out, halfback Moses Mbye spotted an opening in the defensive line and a weak effort in defence from Sam Lisone left a big hole as he scooted through to score.

With two minutes to play in the first half, the Bulldogs hit again and grabbed the lead for the first time in the game when a well-worked backline move had Warriors wing Maumalo lost in defence and his opposite Brett Morris in the clear to run in the try for a 10-6 half-time lead.

Former Warriors under-20 sensation Brad Abbey was making his Bulldogs debut and he provided the Warriors with some momentum early in the second half when he fumbled a grubber kick close to his own line.

At the midway point in the half the Warriors finally turned their dominance into points when some nice interplay from Johnson and second-rower Thompson on the right edge put Johnson over. Johnson was successful with the kick to make it 12-10 to the Warriors. That lead, however, lasted just a matter of minutes as the Bulldogs found some field position and a reverse pass from Brett Morris put Marcelo Montoya in to score on debut.

As the Warriors looked for a late try to send the game to golden point, Morris ended their hopes with his second try of the game.