Kurri Kurri forward Reegan Tanner.The Kurri Kurri Bulldogs need to bounce back from their disappointing second-half collapse against Wyong last week when they travel to Cahill Oval to take on Lakes United on Sunday.

Kurri led Wyong 18-10 with 30 minutes left on the clock before conceding 22 unanswered points to lose 32-18. The loss leaves Kurri in fourth position on the table, two points clear of Maitland in fifth.

But Maitland have a game in hand against Macquarie and, along with their superior for and against, the Pickers could potentially jump Kurri into fourth.

With every point vital on the run to the finals, the Bulldogs will need to improve on their below par second-half performance on Sunday when they take on Lakes.

The Seagulls have been disappointing so far in 2012 with only four points to show for their campaign.

The loss of former Newcastle Knights, Penrith Panthers and Melbourne Storm prop Adam Woolnough to a season ending knee injury has hurt Lakes upfront, with the Seagulls languishing on the table only above Port Stephens.

Kurri have also been hit by injury with captain and former Knights prop Jesse Royal missing since suffering an ankle injury while playing for the Newcastle representative team in June.

Fortunately, for the Bulldogs the experience of former National Rugby League players Reegan Tanner, Todd Polglase, second-rower Daniel Abraham and coach George Ndaira has seen them maintain their place in the top five in Royal’s absence.

Former Knights forwards Tanner and Abraham have been particularly impressive this season, providing plenty of go-forward in attack along with some consistently stinging defence.

A win for Kurri on Sunday would further entrench them in the top five, while a loss would give ample encouragement to both Maitland and South Newcastle in the chasing pack. Kick off at Cahill Oval is at 3pm.

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