The Bulldogs opened the scoring in the 14th minute as Moses Mbye showed it inside, outside and went himself. He strolled through a yawning gap in the Panthers defensive line and touched down. He couldn’t convert his own try but the Dogs led 4-0.
Off the back of a Moylan error under the high ball, the Bulldogs earned a penalty almost directly in front of the posts. Mbye made no mistake and after 26 minutes of play the Dogs were ahead 6-0.
The Panthers finally put themselves on the board in the 34th minute with a well-timed switch of play close the Bulldogs line. An offload from Moylan created the overlap and Nathan Cleary threw a beautiful cut-out ball for Dallin Watene-Zelezniak to touch down in the right corner. Cleary’s attempted conversion sailed wide, leaving the Dogs ahead 6-4.
Trent Merrin looked destined to score just before the break but he was yanked to the turf just as the tryline came within reach.
HALFTIME – Bulldogs 6-4