Monday 19 March 2018 / 12:15 AM


Canterbury dropped out of the top four via a disappointing 24-16 loss to North Queensland at Belmore Oval on Thursday night, but Greg Eastwood provided some highlights for the fans at the Bulldogs’ spiritual home.

The burly Kiwi backrower read a dangerous Cowboys last-tackle trick shot in the 10th minute, intercepting a Michael Morgan pass that looked certain to send Johnathan Thurston into open space.

What ensued was one of the most unique intercept tries you could hope to see, with Eastwood apparently running in quicksand while Cowboys fullback Lachlan Coote easily mowing him down. But the 23-Test veteran kept his composure, stepped inside Coote and crashed over after covering the 60 metres to the try-line in a leisurely 10 seconds.

Inevitably, Eastwood’s sublimely sluggish run became instant social media fodder.

The former Broncos hit-man, who has played 145 games for the Bulldogs and 209 NRL games since debuting in 2005, is a gifted ball-player but also has history of snaffling intercepts in big games.

In the 2012 preliminary final against Souths, Eastwood grabbed a Nathan Peats chip-kick out of the air and scooted 50 metres to score a match-sealing try, while he outsmarted Cooper Cronk in the 2014 qualifying final to take an intercept and run 50 metres before sending Tim Lafai away for the final try of a 28-4 upset.

Eastwood finished with a double after scoring in the dying moments against the Cowboys to make the scoreboard a little more respectable, but after winning seven games in eight weeks, consecutive losses to last year’s grand finalists has put a serious dent in the Bulldogs’ premiership claims.

Disjointed attack, errors, a dreadful kicking game and another dismal showing from the perpetual enigma Tony Williams confirmed the Dogs are a notch or two below the top contenders. In all likelihood they will be merely making up the numbers in September.

A loss in a tricky Round 26 assignment against the in-form Rabbitohs could see Canterbury drop as low as seventh if Brisbane wins one of its last two games and Penrith wins both of its remaining matches.

The Cowboys, meanwhile, continue to build nicely, breaking out of a mini-slump with convincing defeats of the Warriors and Bulldogs. Ethan Lowe finished with a double, the second set up by a Thurston break.

[YouTube – David French]

Add Comment

About the author

Will Evans

CBS’s Editor-in-Chief and lead rugby league, union and cricket writer, Will is a Christchurch-based freelancer, also writing for Big League and Rugby League Review magazines, and The New Daily website. Will has written four rugby league books.

More nrl News

Special Features