The Raiders Jersey Flegg side have gone down 42-22 to the Bulldogs in a high-scoring affair at GIO Stadium on Saturday.
The Raiders started the game well but the Bulldogs proved too strong in the end, scoring seven straight tries to help seal the win.
It was the perfect start to the match for the Raiders, scoring in the opening set of the game after a shift to the left resulted in a try to second rower Kaden Williams. Sione Vuki successfully kicked the conversion, giving the home side an early 6-0 lead.
A penalty to the Raiders gifted the side an attacking set on the Bulldogs line and it wasn’t long until the Raiders took their opportunity. Hooker Mitchel Souter kicked a perfect cross-field kick to centre Josh Billing, who was able to catch and put the ball down before the dead ball line. Vuki missed the conversion, making it 10-0 after ten minutes of play.
The Bulldogs hit back a few minutes later with winger Jordi Mazzone going over for a try in the corner. Halfback Bailey Hayward kicked the sideline conversion closing the gap to 10-6 after 16 minutes.
The visitors scored again off the back of a kick from Bulldogs fullback Khaled Rajab found his winger Jonathan Sua who scored. Hayward kicked the conversion, putting his side ahead 12-10.
With six minutes remaining in the first half the Bulldogs crossed out wide through William Afulao. The try was a result of a quick shift to the right hand of the field, following some strong lead up work thanks to hooker Brandon Clarke who exposed some tired marker defence in the previous play. The conversion was unsuccessful but the Bulldogs extended their lead to 16-10 at the break.
The Bulldogs continue their momentum in the second half, with Mazzone picking up his second try of the day. The conversion was again unsuccessful, with the Bulldogs leading 20-10 after 40 minutes.
The visitors scored again a couple of mins through Bayley Cox off the back of a great run by winger Sua, with the Bulldogs extending their lead to 14 points.
The Bulldogs attack continued to slice through the Raiders defence, with Bulldogs fullback Rajab breaking through a tackle and running up the field before passing to five-eighth Joseph O’Neill who scored under the posts. Hayward added the two points, bringing the score to 30-10 with 21 minutes of the game remaining.
Prop Josh Kalati crashed over the tryline at close range right for the Bulldogs, with Hayward converting to put the visitors up by 26 points.
Raiders winger Manase Kaho hit back for the green machine, going over for a four-pointer off the back of another perfect cross field kick. Vuki’s conversion was successful, bringing the score to 36-16 with 12 minutes remaining of the match.
Kaho made it a double in the next set, getting past his opposite winger to plant the ball in the corner. Vuki nailed the sideline conversion to close the gap to 36-22 with nine minutes left.
But the Bulldogs had the last say with hooker Brandon Clarke picking up a four-pointer. Hayward converted to give the Bulldogs a 42-22 lead.
The Raiders take on the Dragons next weekend at Raiders Belconnen.