A stellar display from Mounties halfback Mitch Cornish helped guide his side back into the winner’s circle with a thumping 58-18 victory over Canterbury at GIO Stadium on Saturday.
Out to make amends after dropping their first game of the season last round against Penrith, the hosts were in control for the entire 80 minutes as they put the sword to the hapless Bulldogs.
It was a first half onslaught as the hosts blew out to a commanding 30-6 lead inside 40 minutes.
Centre Mitch Cronin sparked his side’s first half dominance with a try inside five minutes, before lock forward Sam Duggan doubled the ascendency just minutes later.
Canterbury’s defence struggled to contain Mounties’ middle-men and were made to paid when Duggan crossed for his second in as many minutes courtesy of a neat inside ball from halfback Cornish.
The Mounties no.7 was proving to be the chief orchestrator, having a hand in each of his side’s first three tries, before creating space for his winger Gus Aiga, who crossed in the corner to extend the lead to 20 points.
In his return from injury, interchange Jeff Lynch charged over from close range before Aiga recorded his second try after a slick backline movement from the home side.
Trailing 30-0 just minutes out from half time, the Bulldogs were able to take something into the break after interchange Brad Clark latched onto an offload to score beside the posts.
However the Mounties began the second half in similar fashion when second-rower Mitch Barnnett joined the long list of try-scorers, showing his strength to muscle his way over the line.
Bulldogs fullback Jaline Graham managed to peg one back after slicing through the opposition defence to score in the corner.
However any chance of an unlikely come back was put to bed when Mounties centre Jeremy Hawkins crossed to take the lead out beyond four converted tries.
Graham, the shining light in an ordinary Bulldogs outfit, snuck through the Mounties defence again to send winger Jarrod McNally over the line.
The Mounties scored four tries in the final 10 minutes to cap off a dominant display in the Nation’s Capital.
Tries to Shillington, Hawkins and Rhys Kennedy took the Mounties past the half-century mark, before halfback Cornish added the exclamation mark to a man of the match performance with a try on the buzzer.