Rugby League

Stars injured as Eels down Dogs at home

March 9, 2024 8:34 pm

Source: NRL]

The Eels fought their way to a gritty 26-8 win over the Bulldogs at CommBank Stadium with Canterbury-Bankstown winger Josh Addo-Carr suffering a shoulder injury.

There’s been plenty of excitement around Bulldogs new left-edge pairing of NSW Origin duo Stephen Crichton and Josh Addo-Carr but fans were left disappointed to see the star winger Addo-Carr ruled out with a shoulder injury at halftime.

Despite finishing the match, Eels halfback Mitch Moses could also be in doubt for Round 2 after carrying a groin injury for the majority of the match.

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Kept scoreless at half time, the Bulldogs fought their way back to a 12-point deficit with ten minutes to play but in the end the Eels were rewarded for their discipline, having completed at 86 per cent and finishing with just five errors to their opponents’ 13.

The home side capitalised on some early field possession (63 per cent) and a perfect completion rate when Dylan Brown punted the ball into the in-goal for Morgan Harper who crossed in his club debut in the 13th minute.

Bulldogs recruit Jaeman Salmon was penalised for a high shot on J’maine Hopgood in the 26th minute and Clint Gutherson knocked over the penalty goal to give the Eels an 8-0 lead. The fullback took over kicking duties with Mitch Moses looking to be struggling with a groin injury.

With a Kurt Mann infringement gifting the home side another repeated set, the Eels extended their lead 14-0 in the shadows of half time with Cartwright cruising over the line thanks to a quick ball from Joey Lussick.

With no sign of star winger Josh Addo-Carr (shoulder) after the break and two early penalties, the Bulldogs found themselves on the back foot again and Cartwright made it a double when he finished off some slick hands to the right. Gutherson converted to make it 20-0.

Come the 66th minute and this time the Eels are made to pay for an error with winger Blake Wilson finishing off a slick right side raid in the corner.

Four minutes later and the Bulldogs were right in the match with former Panthers duo Viliame Kikau and Stephen Crichton combining on the left edge to reduce the deficit 20-8.

But with less than four minutes on the clock young gun Bailey Simonsson sealed the win for the Eels, going over untouched to put the game to bed 26-8.