You have skipped the navigation, tab for page content
NSW Cup 2022 Season Review | Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs

Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs had an impressive season after finishing in fourth place before going on a red-hot run in September to book a spot in The Knock-On Effect NSW Cup Grand Final against Penrith Panthers.

Although they fell just short in the decider, the season marked a successful return for them to the NSW Cup having sat out the competition since 2019 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Bulldogs made an immediate impact upon their return, winning their opening four games including a comprehensive 48-12 result against Canberra Raiders in Round Two. Their final regular season record stood at 14 wins, seven losses and one draw, scoring 574 points and conceding 398 from 24 rounds.

Season Highlight

In a season that provided plenty of highlights, including a Grand Final appearance, one game stood above the rest.

The Bulldogs had the mammoth task of heading to Leichhardt Oval to face off against Minor Premiers, the Newtown Jets, in a Preliminary Final for the ages.

While the Jets were without several key players, they managed to get on the scoreboard first through The Knock-On Effect NSW Cup Player of the Year Kayal Iro.

Down 6-0 early, the Dogs managed to fight their way back through the pinpoint kicking game of halfback Brandon Wakeham.

NSW Cup Highlights | Preliminary Final - Jets v Bulldogs

The combination of Wakeham and winger Jayden Okunbor proved critical for the Dogs. Okunbor scored a back-to-back double and then combined with prop Jayden Tanner to extend the Dogs lead; all off the back of perfectly-placed Wakeham bombs.

Heading into the sheds leading 26-10 at half-time, the Jets looked all but done, until a late comeback from the Minor Premiers had the crowd on their feet. A Wakeham penalty goal proved the difference in the end, with the Bulldogs booking their spot in the Grand Final with a 28-26 victory.

Simply the best

The Bulldogs had plenty of attacking spark, but it was Wakeham who solidified himself as one of the standout playmakers in The Knock-On Effect NSW Cup.

Wakeham was in-and-out of first grade early in the season before building regular game time in The Knock-On Effect NSW Cup. When he played, the Bulldogs built arguably the most dangerous edge combination in the competition with Wakeham, Jackson Topine, Paul Alamoti and Okunbor wreaking havoc on the right-hand side of the field.

Wakeham’s kicking game almost always kept them in the game. He finished the season with three tries, 50 goals at 73.5%, 16 try assists, 13 linebreak assists, 10 forced dropouts and 305 kicking metres per game.

The Bulldogs have a new coach in Cameron Ciraldo taking over in 2023 and Wakeham, who is off contract for next year, is still without a club.

NSW Under 19s representative Paul Alamoti proved to be the Bulldogs x-factor in his first year of senior football.

The club has a high opinion of the local junior as he was promoted into the Bulldogs top 30 squad for the 2022 season at just 18-years-old. Alamoti possesses size, speed, strength, a nice offload and can also goal kick, so expect him to make his NRL debut in 2023.

He finished the season with 15 games, four tries, four try assists, 37 tackle busts, four linebreaks and an average of 150 metres per game.

By the numbers

A large portion of the Bulldogs success can be attributed to their outside backs. Players such as Okunbor, Isaac Lumelume and Creedence Toia were all incredibly effective coming out of trouble and they allowed the Bulldogsforwards to get on the front foot.

Combined with Wakeham’s kicking game, the Bulldogs were certainly a force with the ball in hand.

The men in blue and white finished the year third in points scored, fourth in tries, third in linebreaks and also led the competition for run metres, runs and offloads.

The Bulldogs also led the competition for kicks and kick metres but finished the year with the most errors, handling errors and missed tackles. That should be a focus as they look to go one better in their 2023 campaign.

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.

Platinum Partner

Major Partners

View All Partners