Dogs put bite on Sharks - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Dogs put bite on Sharks

By Laine Clark 20/03/2004 10:12:58 PM Comments (0)

When the going gets tough, the Bulldogs get going - just ask the Sharks.

Any doubts over whether the embattled National Rugby League club could endure yet another week of off-field turmoil were erased after the Bulldogs held out a spirited Sharks 24-20 at the Sydney Showground.

Looking down the barrel of a monumental upset, the Bulldogs dug deep and when winger Willie Tonga crashed over in the left corner with four minutes left the Canterbury outfit had hit the lead for the first time - and stayed there.

The Sharks held the dubious honour of being the only team last weekend not to register a line break after their dour 12-6 NRL opening round loss to an equally unimpressive Wests Tigers while the Bulldogs sent a shudder through the competition with their 48-14 demolition of the Eels.

But the teams looked to have swapped jerseys with Sharks halfback Brett Kimmorley orchestrating a 14-12 halftime lead and set up a 20-12 buffer for the visitors with just over 20 minutes left.

The Bulldogs appeared jaded after another tumultuous week off field in which the first head rolled over the sex scandal, with football manager Garry Hughes sacked for failing to enforce the club's code of conduct.

It was in relation to breaches at Coffs Harbour, the scene of the alleged sexual assault on February 22, and the players' failure to follow a club directive when they dressed poorly for subsequent police interviews.

And Bulldogs players Willie Mason and Brent Sherwin were reportedly fined $10,000 and $5,000 respectively for their failure to wear appropriate attire to police interviews while several others had $5000 suspended fines placed on them.

But the Bulldogs showed heart in front of a 9,000-strong crowd to keep a perfect record for 2004 - just.

After leading 14-12 at halftime, the Sharks kicked further ahead when pivot Greg Bird crashed over and Kimmorley converted to make it 20-12 in the 59th minute.

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