Unbeaten Raiders too good for Bulldogs
Greenbank Raiders defeated a valiant Bulimba Bulldogs 36-16 to remain unbeaten in the Open 2 Southside Rugby League Brisbane competition at the Balmoral Recreation Ground on Saturday.
Two tries to powerful five-eighth Daniel Wallace was the catalyst for the winning margin, with the standout pivot arguably best on the park.
The Raiders got an early gift, with the Bulldogs offside at the kick-off. Sure enough, just two minutes into the game, the Raiders would be the first to score when centre Bert Tui Magele crossed for an easy try out wide.
A sideline conversion by Wallace had the Ted Beaumont trophy winners taking an early lead at "The Kennel".
Greenbank's next set saw Wallace score the first of his two tries, using his massive fend to go in right under the sticks.
The Raiders were off to a dream start, but they were soon reminded that you don't come to the Bulimba "fortress" without expecting a fight.
Bulldogs lock Luke Hay was first to score for the home side after a well-executed pass from halfback Liam Hutchinson to stroll over beside the sticks.
Soon after, it was Justin Taylor who benefited from a quick play the ball to send in centre Rob Franklin who had to tread the sideline to plant the ball down and keep the pressure on the unbeaten Raiders.
As the halftime hooter sounded, Greenbank looked certain to score again, with flying winger Casper Banu bursting 60m upfield only to drop the ball over the line in a frantic last 60 seconds of play.
Wallace used his incredible strength to fend off two Bulldogs to open the scoring in the second half and register his double for the afternoon.
Greenbank were being well served by Wallace, Rhys Jackson and Aiden Taubman and it would be second rower Jackson who scored the Raiders next try, weaving his way through some tired Bulimba defence to crash in beside the posts.
The lead was further increased to 30-10, after a great piece of work by halfback Taubman, who wrong footed the defence and slid in under the posts for another brilliant Greenbank try.
The balance of power had now definitely shifted in the way of the Raiders and they continued their onslaught on the Bulldogs defence.
Greenbank's elusive centre Matt Knobel capped off a brilliant game himself, with an opportunist try out of nothing to kill off any hopes of a Bulldogs comeback.
A late consolation try on the bell gave the Bulldogs some respectability on the scoreboard, however it will take something special to match a Greenbank side that remains unbeaten.
* Mike Simpson is a QRL correspondent covering Rugby League Brisbane.