Young gun finds ‘a home’ as dogs break three-year drought in ‘incredible’ turnaround: big hits

The Bulldogs have recorded their first consecutive wins since 2019 after beating the Tigers 36-6.

The Bulldogs struck first through hooker Jeremy Marshall-King, but it wasn’t long before the Tigers responded.

However, that was the only attempt the Tigers scored until the last minute.

The Bulldogs scored a total of six tries, including a double for Jake Averillo, a 90-yard interception for Aaron Schoupp and a feel-good four-pointer for rookie Kurtis Morrin.

The Tigers got a consolation attempt with James Tamou going under the posts with less than a minute to go.

However, neither side came out of the game unscathed. Alex Twal suffered a sickening headbutt, Starford To’A sustained an ankle injury and Morrin came out with a shoulder injury not long after his attempt.

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BIG HITS

BULLDOGS’ INCREDIBLE CONVERSION

The Bulldogs have taken consecutive wins for the first time since 2019 — and have scored 30 points or more in two consecutive games for the first time since 2016.

It seems their attack has finally got underway under interim coach Mick Potter, who told Fox League ahead of the Round 14 win over the Eels that the main change he’s made is that the attackers spread the ball more.

The Bulldogs stunned the Eels with a 34-4 win and backed it up with a stunning second half against the Tigers.

“It’s a traveling roadshow. Last Monday at Accor Stadium, this afternoon it’s Commbank Stadium – what a turning point,” said Fox League commentator Andrew Voss.

“It’s a gun reversal. They were the last and now not only are they winning, they are getting these scores and they are good to watch – unbelievable.”

“It’s great for the Bulldogs… over 30 points again,” Greg Alexander added.

Jake Averillo doubled, Aaron Schoupp had 243 yards and Josh Addo-Carr impressed with 138 yards, nine tackle busts, a try assist, a linebreak and a linebreak assist.

Meanwhile, five of the Dogs’ attackers cracked 100 yards with Max King’s 165 yards leading the way.

“It’s just confidence. After what they did to the Eels last week, they’re dripping confidence and I think they needed that,” Nathan Hindmarsh said on The Matty Johns Show.

“Sometimes you doubt yourself or you doubt your abilities, but I think even the attackers put in place a great platform for the halves to do their job and they deserved winners.”

Matty Johns added: “You can see sides that have been under fire for a number of years, when things start to change, how the atmosphere, everything just takes off.”

ATTACK OF TIGERS EXPOSED PEDESTRIANS

The Tigers’ lackluster attack and more specifically their latest tackle options came under fire after just two tries against the Bulldogs.

They had only 39 percent of the ball, but couldn’t come up with much if they did.

The Tigers’ disorganized attack came to light when Luke Brooks received a hospital ball and was stopped by the Dogs before he could pass it.

The moment came just seconds after a game break that commentator Andrew Voss and analyst Greg Alexander thought should have given them time to line up for their next play.

“Boy who is pedestrian after a reboot to produce that,” Voss said.

“He also blew up on that, which was a dog breakfast,” Alexander added.

“Very disappointing couple of tackles out there from the back of the break in the game. They had time to organize themselves… the confusion of the Tigers.’

Later in the game, Jackson Hastings tried to play short, but the ball fell flat.

“Hastings releases the ball to the middle and asks To’a to kick and that is quite difficult,” said Alexander.

“There’s no shine at all on the Tigers’ latest tackles, zero reward so far in the second half and they didn’t deserve it,” Voss added.

The Tigers’ afternoon was summed up when a Brooks cross-field kick went over the sidelines, prompting Voss to declare that their latest tackle games “have gotten worse.”

“There is no doubt that they were let down this afternoon, be it the pressure from the Dogs or the poor execution of the kicks. There has been no weapon of any kind,” said Alexander.

AVERILLO FINALLY FINDS HIS ‘HOME’ ON THE DOGS SIDE

It looks like Jake Averillo has finally found his place with the Bulldogs, with the 21-year-old scoring four goals in his two games as a fullback.

Averillo set the podium on fire in the Bulldogs’ Round 14 victory over the Eels with two tries – one of which came from a thrilling interception. He backed it up in their 36-12 win over the Tigers on Sunday with two more tries.

Averillo started the season as a halfback before being dropped in round 3. He returned to the 17 on round 4 at center but last week interim coach Mick Potter called for him to be moved to fullback – and it has worked wonders.

He shot out of the dummy half to score his first four-pointer, showing the shrewdness of recognizing when the tigers only had one marker.

“He’s a great footballer. He only had to run five meters, but his speed put him between the defenders of the two Tigers,” said Greg Alexander.

Averillo’s second try came when Jacob Kiraz cleared the ball over the ground and he kicked it before pressing it to the ground just before dying.

“We look at Averillo as a fullback and wonder if he will ever play in the half again? Maybe not, this might be his destiny in the NRL,” said Fox League commentator Andrew Voss.

Corey Parker agreed, saying that Averillo had finally found his “home” in the Dogs’ side.

“He’s been looking for a position for the past few years, but he’s kind of found a home in the full-back role,” he said.

“He put in a wonderful individual effort before falling to give the Bulldogs a 12-6 lead.”

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TEAMS

Bulldogs: 1. Jake Averillo 2. Jacob Kiraz 3. Aaron Schoupp 4. Corey Allan 5. Josh Addo-Carr 6. Matt Burton 7. Kyle Flanagan 8. Max King 9. Jeremy Marshall-King 10. Paul Vaughan 11. Josh Jackson 15. Corey Waddell 13. Tevita Pangai Junior 12. Raymond Faitala-Mariner 14. Zach Dockar-Clay 16. Joe Stimson 17. Kurtis Morrin

tigers: 1. Daine Laurie 2. David Nofoaluma 3. Starford To’a 4. Asu Kepaoa 5. Ken Maumalo 6. Luke Brooks 7. Jackson Hastings 15. Alex Twal 9. Jacob Liddle 10. Zane Musgrove 11. Luke Garner 12. Kelma Tuilagi 13. Joe Ofahengaue 8. James Tamou 14. Fa’amanu Brown 16. Adam Doueihi 17. Alex Seyfarth

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