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NSW Cup 2022 Finals Preview | Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs

With The Knock-On Effect NSW Cup finals series right around the corner, previews each side in contention for the Premiership.

Season Overview

Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs haven’t lost more than two consecutive games this season, which helped them secure a finals spot in 2022.

They also finished in the top four in The Knock-On Effect NSW Cup team stats for both points and tries scored in the regular season.

The year started with great promise winning their opening four games before a little ‘speed hump’ period ensued with three losses from their next four games.

A bye in Round 10 provided an opportunity to reset with the Bulldogs responding after that to wallop Western Suburbs Magpies 42-0. Then in Round 13 they enjoyed a 20-16 win over the Knights after losing to them in Round Six (34-24).

The Bulldogs amassed an excellent ‘away’ record (8-2) by winning more than half of their 14 victories for the season on the road.

By The Numbers

The Bulldogs finished the regular season leading the competition for engaging the line (609) - with halfback Brandon Wakeham pumping up that stat by taking the line on 104 times in 12 games - and were also the leading club for offloads (235).

They also had the third-best defensive record in the competition.

Centre Declan Casey was the side’s top try scorer with nine, but five-eighth Bailey Biondi-Odo was elusive after scoring six himself, as well as having 12 try assists and nine line-break assists.

Keeping the opposition guessing through second-phase play was centre Paul Alamoti and back rower Joshua Stuckey, who had 58 off-loads between them to put them both in the top-five overall for the NSW Cup this year.

Player to Watch

Wakeham has been the top points scorer with 78 (two tries, 35 goals) alongside his nine try assists and nine line-break assists.

When it comes to grunt up-front the Bulldogs props Phillip Makatoa – top-10 for post-contact metres – and 140 NRL games veteran Ava Seumanufagai have it all well in control. They are experts in getting the Dogs on the front foot, or paws.

Road Ahead

Finishing on the same number of competition points (33) and wins (14) as the North Sydney Bears, the battle for the vital third spot – and avoid the Elimination final – came down to just eight points.

To finish third, the Bulldogs needed to beat Newtown in the final round of the regular season and/or hope the Bears didn’t beat Mounties by more than 47 points. In the worst possible outcome, they drew 22-all with the Jets while the Bears romped away with a 60-6 win.

The Bulldogs now face the fifth-placed Eels to survive to Week Two of the finals.

Acknowledgement of Country

New South Wales Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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