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Dogs break losing streak against Dragons

NZN 12/06/2017 Steve Zemek

Canterbury have shaken off a week of turmoil to move within two points of the NRL top eight after a dour 16-2 upset of St George Illawarra at ANZ Stadium on Monday.

After a try-less first half, the Dogs scored three second-half tries to snap a four-game losing streak and relieve the pressure valve on coach Des Hasler.

The Dogs came into round 14 under the microscope with their fans in revolt over recent performances, in particular last weekend's flogging from Penrith.

But they rebounded with a defeat of the fourth-placed St George Illawarra who squandered a plethora of opportunities in Canterbury's red zone and failed to score a try for the first time this year.

"I never really ever doubted the ability of this team, plenty have," Hasler said.

"It was a good win today. I just think we were tidier in all facets but it seems you (the media) are not really interested in that part of the game.

"You're interested in all the distractions that go on around it."

After last week's loss Dogs fans took to social media to hammer the side while Hasler was accused of ducking members after failing to show up to a supporters' meet-and-greet.

Chairman Ray Dib addressed the playing group calling for them to show some support for Hasler while the team used their day off to have an honesty session at a local pub.

"The beer must have been good," Hasler quipped.

The Bulldogs remained in 12th spot with the win however moved to within two points of eight-placed Penrith.

After the only points of the first half came through a Gareth Widdop penalty goal, the turning point in the game came when Josh Morris crossed for his side's first try in 188 minutes.

Will Hopoate floated through the line from broken play and sent Josh Morris inside for what was Canterbury's first four-pointer since Brenko Lee crossed in the first half against Cronulla in round 12.

With five-eighth Josh Reynolds again watching from the sidelines, the Bulldogs were often their own worst enemies with Moses Mbye and Matt Frawley's kicking game leaving a lot to be desired.

However they took control of the game in the second half with Michael Lichaa burrowing over for his first try of the season and Marcelo Montoya diving over after Jason Nightingale made a mess of an attempt to bat-back the ball in his own 10m zone.

The Dragons were denied a try midway through the second half when Josh Dugan crossed following a scrum however it was called back because the Bulldogs failed to pack within the time limit.

"The bounce back was always going to be there," said Dragons coach Paul McGregor.

"They were a team that was under some pressure and they'd lost their last four.

"We were looking forward to that challenge. I'm not too disheartened about the loss but there's some things we've got to be better about."

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