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Canterbury Bulldogs beat St George Illawarra 13-10 at the Olympic stadium to crack the top four

ABC News ABC News 29/07/2016

The Bulldogs led 13-0 at half-time before hanging on for a narrow win over the Dragons. © AAP Image: Dan Himbrechts The Bulldogs led 13-0 at half-time before hanging on for a narrow win over the Dragons. Canterbury Bulldogs were far from impressive but hung on to seal a 13-10 win over St George Illawarra at the Olympic stadium to break into the NRL top four.

The Bulldogs were on 26 points before the game, with the ability to leapfrog the Canberra Raiders - at least temporarily - with a win.

The Dragons did not start like a team in 11th spot, however. The visitors put the Bulldogs under big pressure early, forcing four repeat sets.

The Dragons had a couple of tries disallowed by the bunker, the second came when the Bulldogs got a desperate touch to force a ball in-goal ahead of a closing Dragons player.

The longer the game went, however, the greater the likelihood that the visitors would pay for their failure to take their opportunities.

Finally in the 24th minute a burst from Greg Eastwood set up a series of top passes before Josh Reynolds went over to open the scoring.

The conversion made it 6-0, and the Bulldogs struck another blow five minutes later.

A break from Sam Perrett set up a number of plays close to the line before Michael Lichaa flicked a pass to Sam Kasiano who barrelled through the Dragons' defence to grab another four-pointer.

The Dragons came close twice in the final minutes of the half, but a knock-on in the left-hand corner by Gareth Widdop was followed by the ball being knocked out of the hands of Adam Quinlan as he tried to get over the line.

Josh Reynolds extended the lead on the siren, drilling a field goal from 40m on the siren, as the Bulldogs went in 13-0 to the good.

The Dragons needed to strike early in the second half, and finally they managed the necessary finish, with a Widdop kick-ahead touched down by Kurt Mann for a vital try.

A missed conversion by Widdop left it at 13-4, but the visitors were in again with 20 minutes to go, as a stab-kick into the in-goal by Benji Marshall was touched down by Euan Aitken.

The Bulldogs suddenly looked vulnerable at 13-10, but despite the Dragons' best efforts, they could not grab the go-ahead try.

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