The Raiders are out to redeem themselves against the Cowboys in Townsville, while the Bulldogs celebrate their first win of the season, an 18-12 triumph over the Sharks.
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Bulldogs hold off Sharks for first win
Canterbury has finally claimed its opening win of the season and been the first team to use the 18th man in its 18-12 victory over Cronulla.
The Bulldogs survived a second-half onslaught from the Sharks, including a 34-7 disadvantage in second-half plays inside their 20-metre zone.
They also had to withstand a furious finish from the home side, who had pulled within six points when winger Mawene Hiroti crossed with four minutes remaining.
In the end the Bulldogs held on to claim their first win since last September and the first under coach Trent Barrett, however the game will likely be remembered for another reason.
Almost three weeks after the NRL rushed in a rule that allows teams to bring in an extra man should they lose a player for the game due to foul play, Matt Doorey was floored in the first half.
The Bulldogs forward was left concussed after a shot from Cronulla second rower Siosifa Talakai, who collected the Bulldogs forward under the chin and was sin-binned.
Teams can also call on the 18th man should they lose three players to concussion.
Barrett did not call on 18th man Brandon Wakeham until the 76th minute.
The contest in front of a crowd of 7,420 spectators, also marked the anticipated return of Shaun Johnson, who looked sharp but failed to take advantage of a glut of field position in the second half.
Johnson, coming off an Achilles injury, was substituted after an hour.
An upset loomed the moment Josh Dugan was left stranded by Will Hopoate for opening points in the fifth minute, a missed tackle compounded by his dropped ball to gift Nick Cotric a second try.
Completing the perfect start was a well-executed set play for Nick Meaney that gave Canterbury a three-try advantage, but also kickstarted a flurry of fiery exchanges.
Bulldogs half-back Kyle Flanagan was penalised for obstruction from the ensuing kick-off — a ruling unsuccessfully challenged — before he pulled off a try-saving tackle on Teig Wilton.
That lit the fuse for the visitors, with Talakai attempting his audacious shot that concussed Doorey.
It was the flashpoint of what was a frustrating half for the Sharks, who were denied six tries for the night and were booed off by their home fans at the break.