Heartache for Thunderbolts as Bulldogs steal victory

Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs d Victoria Thunderbolts 14-12

The U18 Victoria Thunderbolts suffered a heartbreaking loss in round three of the S.G Ball Cup on Saturday as the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs scored in the final 10 seconds of the match to steal victory from the jaws of defeat.

In wet and windy conditions at Sydney’s Belmore Oval, Tui Ieremia opened the scoring for the Thunderbolts with a try in the 14th minute from hooker.

Bulldogs reserve hooker Danny Ghantous broke through the visiting side’s defence to run 35 metres and score six minutes from halftime, with a conversion from Latrell Siegwalt giving the Bulldogs a 6-4 lead at the break.

Individual brilliance from half Kruz Niutili-Schmidt running the ball on the last tackle saw him cross for the Thunderbolts just after halftime to give the Thunderbolts an 8-6 lead.

The home side bounced back in the 47th minute, with winger Manoa Veikoso scoring a try in the right corner to give the Bulldogs a 10-8 lead.

Victoria’s Xaviour Taufa came off the bench onto the left wing and made an immediate impact, scoring in the left corner to give the Thunderbolts a 12-10 lead with 20 minutes remaining.

With two minutes left on the clock, Victoria had the ball in the Bulldogs scoring end.

An error saw the Bulldogs race down field and put a kick through, which was knocked-on by a Thunderbolts player trying to dive on the ball.

This gave the Bulldogs a scrum 30 metres out from the Thunderbolts line, with under a minute remaining.

With 10 seconds to go, Bulldogs’ Jackson Topine dived over close to the line to steal victory - keeping the Bulldogs undefeated and the Thunderbolts winless after three games.

In round four the Thunderbolts are back in Melbourne, taking on the Newcastle Knights this Saturday March 2 at Casey Fields.

Kick-off at 2pm.

Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 14

Tries: Danny Ghantous, Manoa Veikoso, Jackson Topine

Conversions: Latrell Siegwalt

Victoria Thunderbolts 12

Tries: Tuilepogai Ieremia, Kruz Niutili-Schmidt, Xaviour Taufa