The Kurri Kurri Bulldogs have scored their third come-from-behind victory in as many weeks to remain undefeated and in a share of the competition lead.
The Bulldogs rallied in the second half after trailing by 13 at the break to record a 24-23 triumph against South Newcastle at Townson Oval yesterday.
A week earlier the Bulldogs were behind by 12 against Maitland before scoring 16 unanswered points to clinch a win in the Mercury Shield clash.
And this all comes after a season-opening 38-4 result against Central Newcastle, which the Bulldogs trailed by four early in the piece.
Now the Bulldogs are on six competition points and find themselves on equal billing with Coalfields rivals Cessnock following the first three rounds of the Newcastle Rugby League first grade season.
“It is good for us to be three from three at the start of the season,” Bulldogs player-coach George Ndaira said. “You can’t complain with that at all.”
South Newcastle shot out to a 19-6 lead at half-time with Mitch Steel the Bulldogs’ sole scorer in the first 40 minutes.
The Bulldogs reduced the margin to seven courtesy of Daniel Abraham before the hosts crossed once more and blew out to 23-10.
This visitors pounced and back-to-back tries, a second to Steel and one to Mitch Cullen, put the Bulldogs within reach with 10 minutes remaining.
Ndaira added the extras each time to give the Bulldogs the most slender of advantages in the closing stages.
“We closed the game out well,” Ndaira said.
“We completed sets, our kick chase was good and we played football down their end of the park.”
Tanner was named players’ player.
At Cessnock on Saturday, Pickers premiership winner Dan Metcalf and former Kurri junior Terence Seu Seu both scored tries for their new Goannas team in a 34-18 victory against Wyong.
In other results, Central Newcastle recorded their first two competition points of the year with a 34-14 result against the Port Stephens Sharks yesterday while on Saturday Western Suburbs accounted for Lakes United 44-10.
Meanwhile, the Maitland Pickers title defence was brought to a halt on Saturday by a leaky pipe.
The pipe from the pump house to the sprinklers on the far side and southern end of Maitland Sportsground had burst, leaving ankle-high pools of water on the surface and the Pickers without a game.
An assessment of the ground was undertaken by Maitland City Council about 9am on Saturday and the ground was closed.
Kurri Kurri Bulldogs 24 (Mitch Steel 2, Mitch Cullen and Daniel Abraham tries; George Ndaira 4 conv) def South Newcastle 23 (Jake Learmont, Joel Cudmore, Beau Simpson and Matt Ireland tries; Ireland 3 conv; Scott Briggs 1 field goal.