The Friday night game between the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs and the Sydney Roosters was a classic tale of two halves, with the Bulldogs initially dominating and the Roosters making a powerful comeback.

The Bulldogs had established a commanding 26-0 lead early on, leaving the Roosters reeling and without three of their key players due to injuries. Dom Young was sent off for a high tackle on Blake Taaffe, while Sam Walker and James Tedesco both had to leave the field failing HIAs.

Despite the Bulldogs' early dominance, the Roosters' second-half performance gave them a "scare of their lives," as described by Fox League's Warren Smith.

Bulldogs coach Cameron Ciraldo admitted, "I thought the first 30 minutes was our best footy we've played that I can remember, and then we probably had our worst 40 minutes of the season in the second half."

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The game has left both teams dealing with key men missing. Besides the players knocked out of the game, the Roosters face further issues with Dom Young and Victor Radley being looked at by the Match Review Committee.

For the Bulldogs, Blake Taaffe failed his HIA, Harrison Edwards was taken off due to a neck injury and Kikau could be battling a knee issue. Ciraldo revealed that Kurt Mann played most of the game with a broken hand and Connor Tracey suffered a calf strain.

Reflecting on the chaotic match, Fox League expert James Graham found it "hard to put into words," describing it as "carnage in the conditions."

On SEN Radio, Bulldogs hooker Reed Mahoney highlighted the motivation provided by the presence of the 2004 premiership-winning squad and emphasised the need for the team to control their emotions and back their abilities.

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"It was good to have the old boys around. It added motivation through the week," Mahoney remarked.

"During the week you plan for things, and most weeks you change your game plan depending on who you're playing," he continued, describing the team's approach to taking on the premiership heavyweights.

But with an intense review likely underway under coach Cameron Ciraldo, Mahoney acknowledged that they panicked when the Roosters arrived in the second half with a siege mentality, bringing out their renowned top-shelf attack.

"Our challenge is we need to be able to control our emotions and play every play. We were a bit eager to score more points too early [in the second half]"

Many fans and commentators have described a far more defensively resolute Bulldogs outfit in 2024, but there continues to be question marks over their attack. Mahoney can see the improvements and that there are plenty of points in them, but acknowledges there is still some way to go.

"When we back ourselves, things can come off for us. It takes courage to do it early on," Mahoney continued, referencing the team's confidence to throw the footy around, not just in the dying stages when the game is on the line.

"It goes to show we can score from anywhere... but we need to do that for forty minutes," he acknowledged.

Regarding the incident with James Tedesco, Mahoney expressed concern for his wellbeing, noting, "Teddy has been a brave player for a long time and I hope he's alright."