Victorious Bulldogs licking their wounds - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Victorious Bulldogs licking their wounds

By Wayne Heming 15/08/2009 01:41:44 PM Comments (0)

The Bulldogs may be licking their wounds following a brutal 22-12 win over the Cowboys in Townsville but the nature of the victory has instilled a belief they can go all the way.

"Unbelievable", was how hooker Michael Ennis summed up the Bulldogs' courage to keep North Queensland scoreless in the second half after losing props Jarrad Hickey to a bad head clash with Carl Webb, and Michael Hodgson with a calf strain.

To tackle the powerful Cowboys pack without their No.1 prop, Ben Hannant, was a big enough ask.

But to then lose two front-rowers in the opening half and come from 12-6 down to win speaks volumes for the resolve of their players.

"We played them through the middle and defended our hearts out," said Ennis.

The NSW hooker also sung the praises of Chris Armit, who stepped up in the front-row, inexperienced Gary Warburton, who pulled off 30 tackles, David Stagg, who made 106 metres and ploughed through 44 tackles and Andrew Ryan who had 13 hit ups and 26 tackles.

"The guys just kept turning up defensively," he said.

Ennis led the way in the middle of the ruck with 34 tackles himself.

"Some of those guys like Armit, Greg Eastwood, Bobcat (Ryan) took it to another level," he said.

"None of them could put their hand up and say "I need a rest', we had no troops."

Apart from taking on the Cowboys without Hannant, the Dogs also lost attacking spark Luke Patten, ruled out late on Thursday with an ankle injury, with diminutive winger Hazem El Masri moving to fullback.

The Bulldogs headed back to Sydney on Saturday morning on a big high after Hickey was cleared of any facial damage after his massive collision with Webb that required medical officers to place him in a neck brace.

The win keeps the Bulldogs in touch of ladder leaders St George Illawarra and in second place with three rounds of the minor premiership to play.

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