The Jersey Flegg Panthers suffered their second-straight defeat with a 22-12 loss to Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs at BlueBet Stadium on Saturday.
The match was an arm wrestle for the majority of the contest, with the Panthers eventually paying the price for a lack of spark in attack and some ill-discipline in defence.
The Bulldogs opened their account in the 6th minute as hooker Ryan Gray broke clear and found fullback Khaled Rajab in support to score. Centre Eli Clark knocked the conversion over for a 6-0 lead.
In the 20th minute the Panthers finished off an attacking set with a well-weighted grubber and centre Elone Taufa won the race to the ball. Niwhai Puru was on target with the conversion attempt to level the scores.
However the Bulldogs ensured they would enjoy a lead at the break as five-eighth Bailey Biondi-Odo caught the defence on the back foot and powered his way over from close range.
HALF-TIME: Panthers 6 – 12 Bulldogs
The Bulldogs extended their lead in the 50th minute as centre Diego Bravo-Graham dived over. Clark failed to convert but the visitors held a 16-6 lead.
Panthers prop Mav Geyer, who constantly looked dangerous for the home side in attack, found himself placed on report twice within a matter of minutes as frustrations began to surface.
The Panthers gave themselves a chance with five minutes left to play as winger Cody Lawson found some space on the left edge. As the defence closed in, he put in the softest of grubbers for Taufa to touch down for his second. Puru nailed the sideline conversion to reduce the Bulldogs lead to four points.
However it was game over in the final minute as the Bulldogs took advantage of a dropped ball to march downfield and score through halfback Bailey Hayward.
FULL-TIME: Panthers 12 – 22 Bulldogs