Kurri Kurri coach Ron Griffiths has praised his team's effort and defensive resolve to outscore Western Suburbs in the second half in an 18-8 loss at Kurri Kurri Sportsground on Saturday.
"Our effort was fantastic. Two weeks in a row we've had a really great effort," Griffiths said.
"Unfortunately, today our execution wasn't where it need to be.
"Our first 25 minutes they took advantage of us not being able to come up with some effective set endings or complete our sets.
"They carried the ball for 25 minutes and we defended. It cost us at the back end of the game.
Wests led 12-0 at half-time, through three unconverted tries, and scored a penalty goal mid-way through the second half before finishing with a late try.
The Bulldogs got on the board through an unconverted try in the 50 minute to Lachy Hill and five minutes later Barry McGrady crossed for another four pointer.
"They didn't get their last try until the final minute of the game, but I think that defence we did in the first half blunted our attack at the end.
"Extremely proud of our effort, our resolve defensively was huge.
"The big thing for us is for the back end of the year, is that if we win both games we make the semis.
The Bulldogs host South Newcastle next Saturday and finish the season away to Central.
Meanwhile, the Cessnock Goannas have put a tough week off the field behind them with a 36-16 win against Lakes United at Cahill Oval.
The result drops Kurri Kurri to sixth on 12 points, with Cessnock and Central Newcastle fourth and fifth respectively on 13 points just one point behind third-placed Maitland.