After three consecutive losses in rounds three, five, and six, the Goulburn City Bulldogs snapped their skid with three back-to-back tries against the Woden Rams.
The Bulldogs came into Saturday's Canberra Raiders Cup First Grade game in desperate need of a win. Losing the match would relegate them to eighth on the ladder, while victory would see them cling to a top four spot.
Tries were traded early in the game at Phillip Oval in Canberra, and Goulburn led 14-10 at half time.
This trend continued into the second half, and as the 60-minute mark approached the score was tied at 20-20.
Goulburn second-rower Matthew Sherer crossed in the 58th minute to start the Bulldogs' hat-trick of tries, and within the next ten, the score had ballooned out to 36-20 in favour of the visitors, which remained the margin at full time.
This success, said Bulldogs co-coach Tyson Greenwood, was a testament to what can be achieved by sticking to the game plan.
"The morale after the game was awesome, it feels good to be winning again," Greenwood said.
"When we actually execute what we want to do, the results are awesome. We did that on the weekend and were rewarded with a win."
The Bulldogs now look towards a crucial clash this weekend, when they take on perennial rivals the Yass Magpies.
The Magpies are one spot below the Bulldogs on the ladder, and the long history between the two sides always brings out an extra competitive element.
"It's always a bit more competitive, because they're our Hume rivals. It adds character to the game," Greenwood said.
"The last couple of years we've got it over them, but this year is different and it'll be a big ask for the boys. They're a big side and they've got some guys who have been there for a few years now, but a win is definitely achievable."
As the midway point of the season approaches, the Bulldogs have thus far remained free of serious injuries. However, Hugh Hayes was forced off the field in the first ten minutes of Saturday's game, which Greenwood said was a loss that "hurts" due to his excellent work rate.
In a silver lining for Goulburn, Kalib Simon shone after replacing Hayes, while the return of key forward Joe Roberts was a timely boost for the Bulldogs.
"We had Joe Roberts come back for us on the weekend," Greenwood said. "He added a lot of direction and composure to the forward pack, he was outstanding. And Jesse Martin really stood out for us as well, his workload was phenomenal and he got Man of the Match.
"Kalib got through 71 minutes as a front rower, which is incredible. We lost Hugh after nine minutes on the weekend and Kalib came on and just never came off."
The Bulldogs will play the Yass Magpies this Saturday, June 5, in Yass, with four grades on display. The Under 19s will get things underway at Yass's Walker Park from 10.30am, to be followed by the Katrina Fanning Shield clash, Reserve Grade, and then First Grade from 3pm.
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