Despite a 14-22 loss to Canterbury Bankstown, the Vodafone Warriors remain inside the top four with two rounds to go in the Intrust Super Premiership’s regular season.
Facing the Bulldogs in Sydney on Saturday, the Stacey Jones-coached side was just 2-4 down after a tight first half but faltered after the break as the Bulldogs put on three unanswered tries to surge into a match-winning lead.
Earlier in the day Wests Tigers beat Wentworthville to move into clear third spot on 32 spots leaving the Vodafone Warriors alone in fourth on 30 points.
But for a last-minute Mounties try, the Vodafone Warriors would have slipped to fifth.
Facing Newtown (29 points), the Mounties were trailing 24-28 with time almost up when they engineered a last-gasp try and converted it for a 30-28 win.
With their line-up affected by injury and unavailability, the Vodafone Warriors battled to get into their contest against the Bulldogs with a Mason Lino penalty right on halftime their only points iun the first 40 minutes.
They didn’t make an impression on the scoreboard again until wing Viliami Kaveinga scored and Lino converted to leave the side 8-22 down with 14 minutes to play.
They needed another strike quickly but it came too late with John Palavi scoring in the final minute.
The Vodafone Warriors’ last two matches of the regular season are at home. They meet table toppers the Mounties at Mount Smart Stadium next Saturday and the Panthers in the final round on August 28.
Match details | Belmore Sports Ground, Sydney
Canterbury Bankstown 22 (Tyrone Phillips, Brad Abbey, Marcelo Montoya, Bronson Garlick tries; Kerrod Holland 2 conversions; Raymond Moujalli conversion).
Vodafone Warriors 14 (Viliami Kaveinga, John Palavi tries; Mason Lino 2 conversions, penalty).
Halftime: 4-2 Bulldogs.
Vodafone Warriors | Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad; Viliami Kaveinga, Junior Pauga, Semisi Tyrell, Matt Allwood; Ata Hingano, Mason Lino (c); James Gavet, Erin Clark, Ligi Sao; John Palavi, Shaun Lane; James Bell. Interchange: Ofahiki Ogden, Upu Poching, Paul Tuli, Willie Peace.