You have skipped the navigation, tab for page content

Canterbury have secured their best start to a season since 2016 with a Matt Burton field goal in golden point sealing a remarkable 15-14 comeback win over the Cowboys at Accor Stadium on Sunday night.

A 79th minute try to Josh Addo-Carr sent the game into golden point before Burton stepped up with less than 10 seconds left in the first half of extra time to slot home the match-winner from 30 metres out and to the left of the posts.

The result delivered the Bulldogs their third win of the season under new coach Cameron Ciraldo and under courageous circumstances after a heavy injury toll throughout the evening.

Earlier, the Cowboys took a two-point lead into half-time before extending their advantage to eight after a Tom Chester try on a greasy autumn's night at Olympic Park. 

The scoreline was narrowed back by a Jacob Preston double before Addo-Carr went over on the left edge on full-time to give Burton a chance to win it after the siren.

What a win! Golden point mayhem

His attempt struck the posts, leaving both sides with a chance to play the game out through golden point with Burton making no mistake on his first attempt despite the angle in which he kicked the one-pointer from. 

Earlier, the Cowboys struck first with a piece of individual brilliance from Tom Dearden to catch Hayze Perham out of position and kick for himself opening the scoring in the sixth minute. 

The visitors extended their lead to eight via a penalty goal after Jayden Okunbor was placed on report and sin-binned for a dangerous tackle on Jason Taumaolo, who left the field for a head injury assessment.

Chester strikes for the Cowboys

Canterbury enjoyed a weight of possession to get themselves on the board with Matt Burton delivering a kick for Preston to pounce on for his first of the evening.

Preston was involved in a nasty friendly-fire tackle with teammate Max King with the Bulldogs back-rower playing through split webbing around his finger. 

He played on, and like the Bulldogs lifted in the second half to chase down the Cowboys before a thrilling golden point finale.

Match snapshot

  • Canterbury enjoyed 52% of possession in the match but completed at 79%, opening the door for the Cowboys (86%) to hold key field position. 
  • The Bulldogs lost Viliame Kikau (concussion) pre-game while Raymond Faitala-Mariner lasted two minutes before failing a head injury assessment.
  • Cowboys fill-in fullback Tom Chester made it three tries from three games ahead of Scott Drinkwater's return from suspension next week. 
  • Bulldogs forward Jacob Preston scored the first double of his NRL career.
  • Preston (split webbing) picked up an injury alongside Max King (eye) but both finished the game. 
  • Franklin Pele also suffered a suspected broken arm in the match.
  • Cowboys forward Heilum Luki started in the back-row for the first time since making his return from an ACL injury and looked strong on the left edge before leaving the field in the 70th minute with a hamstring injury while Jordan McLean (hamstring) also picked up a concern.
  • Josh Reynolds made his official NRL return over 1000 days in the 49th minute of the match, bringing the small, yet vocal crowd to their feet. 
  • The Bulldogs have now won four of their last five games at Accor Stadium.
  • Bulldogs winger Josh Addo-Carr has now scored 20 tries in his past 15 games at Accor Stadium.

Play of the game

Matt Burton's field goal was the icing on the cake but it was the lead-up work from the Bulldogs five-eighth with seven minutes left to earn a repeat set, followed by Jacob Preston, who pounced on the ball with 10 seconds left of golden point, that were the effort areas to enable Bulldogs five-eighth a chance to slot home the match-winner.

A bit of Burton brilliance

What they said

"I'm over the moon... it was a tough one at the end missing that kick from the sideline so I owed the boys one. I was just lucky enough to get one away at the end there." - Bulldogs five-eighth Matt Burton.

NRL Press Conference: Bulldogs v Cowboys - Round 5, 2023

"You can see how close they've become as a group. When things go against them they just hang together and tough it out. It's probably hard to put into words, I've been proud of them every week but tonight and the adversity and how they just hung in there. They're just so gritty and it wasn't easy tonight. It wasn't perfect but we played tough." - Bulldogs coach Cameron Ciraldo.

"Losing sucks... to lose in extra time like that after 80-odd minutes of fighting and scrapping is disappointing but to be fair the game was there to be won for us and we just couldn't make those plays. I thought we competed hard like the Cowboys today. I was proud of the effort the whole game. I feel like better as a coach than after the losses in Rounds 2 and 3. In the end they just scrapped a little bit more." - Cowboys coach Todd Payten.

What's next 

The Bulldogs have a five-day turnaround ahead with their annual Good Friday clash set against the Bunnies at Accor Stadium for 4pm. Viliame Kikau (head knock) will again be unavailable for the Bulldogs while there are mass injury concerns with Jacob Preston (hand), Raymond Faitala-Mariner (head knock), Franklin Pele (arm) and Max King (eye) picking up injuries. 

The Cowboys also have less than ideal preparation time with an all-Queensland derby set for Friday night against newcomers the Dolphins at Queensland Country Bank Stadium. Heilum Luki (hamstring) and Jordan McLean (hamstring) aren't expected to back up.

Acknowledgement of Country

Queensland 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 Partners

View All Partners