The Sea Eagles dominated the Bulldogs in a convincing 42-24 victory during the penultimate round for both teams at Accor Stadium on Sunday. Led by captain Daly Cherry-Evans, the Sea Eagles showcased their attacking prowess with outstanding performances from Lachlan Croker, Tolu Koula, and Jason Saab. The match featured an action-packed afternoon of rugby league, as the Sea Eagles crossed the try line seven times compared to the Bulldogs‘ four.
Despite an impressive start from the Bulldogs, who displayed exceptional offloading skills, it was a clever play from Jake Averillo and Blake Wilson that resulted in Corey Waddell scoring against his former team. However, the Sea Eagles quickly turned the tide of the game with Koula slicing through the defensive line of Viliame Kikau and Josh Addo-Carr before linking up with Saab for an impressive long-range try.
Lachlan Croker played a crucial role in extending the Sea Eagles‘ lead by capitalising on a 40/20 kick, which provided his team with an extra set of possession. With a short ball close to the try line, Croker found Tof Sipley, who capitalised on Canterbury’s weak defense around the ruck.
Before halftime, the Sea Eagles increased their advantage when Raymond Tuaimalo Vaega powered through Wilson’s tackle from close range to finish off a fluid backline movement down the left edge. The team continued their dominance in the second half, with Tuaimalo Vaega providing an offload that allowed Koula to make significant progress downfield. Cherry-Evans capitalised on some sloppy goal-line defense, allowing Haumole Olakau’atu to score an effortless try.
Although Averillo provided a memorable moment for the Bulldogs, crossing the try line in his final home game at Canterbury before joining the Dolphins in 2024, the Sea Eagles quickly regained momentum. Croker continued his productive afternoon with a strong effort from close range, followed by Koula and Saab finding open space to further extend the Sea Eagles‘ lead.
In a late surge of determination, the Bulldogs managed to score two tries in three minutes through Kyle Flanagan and Toby Sexton, providing some consolation for their fans. However, any hopes of a comeback were dashed by a penalty goal from Sea Eagles debutant Gordon Chan Kum Tong.
Overall, the Sea Eagles‘ exceptional performance, led by their captain Cherry-Evans, showcased their attacking prowess and ability to exploit the Bulldogs‘ defensive weaknesses. The victory secures a strong position for the Sea Eagles heading into the final round of the season, while the Bulldogs will look to bounce back in their last game of the year.