Canterbury close in on NRL elite - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Canterbury close in on NRL elite

David Beniuk 14/05/2011 10:40:09 AM Comments (0)

Canterbury believe they are edging closer to finally knocking off one of the NRL's top sides, but they'll only get one more chance to do so in the 2011 regular season.

The Bulldogs have come up empty handed in four matches against the league's top three sides, St George Illawarra, Melbourne and Brisbane.

Friday night's 15-10 loss to the Dragons came on the back of their 25-6 round five defeat at the SCG, a 30-16 round four drubbing by the Storm and a 20-12 loss to the Broncos two weeks ago.

The nature of the NRL draw means the Dogs won't meet the Dragons or Broncos again until finals time.

They will get another crack at the Storm, however, in round 18.

"We only met (the Dragons) about a month ago and, because of the draw these days, tests like that come around a little too quickly at times," Bulldogs coach Kevin Moore said.

"Back in the old days you used to meet teams once every 12 weeks and you'd get a chance to maybe work on things and be a better a football side."

Canterbury mounted a stirring comeback at ANZ Stadium after trailling 15-0 at the break, appearing to rattle the premiers.

Moore says it showed his side could compete with anyone in the NRL, even if they'll barely get a chance to show it.

"When our effort's outstanding and when we just stick to our plan ... we showed that we've got plenty of football in us," Moore said.

"We had every right probably for them to maybe go on and win the game fairly convincingly given the amount of ball they had in the first half.

"I think we'll get a lot of belief out of that.

"If (Friday night's) an example, I think we can compete with anyone."

In another quirk of the NRL draw, the Dragons-Broncos blockbuster will occur just once, in round 15, with a host of stars backing up from State of Origin II.

Wayne Bennett's side also play the Storm just once and not until round 24.

Meanwhile, the Bulldogs will check on injuries to winger Michael Lett (hamstring) and forwards Mickey Paea (knee) and Greg Eastwood (cork).

Paea and Eastwood are not considered to be in doubt for next week's clash with Canberra.

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