The Kurri Kurri Bulldogs have an anxious wait to find out the fitness of three star players after they suffered a disappointing 41-4 loss to Cessnock in their Coalfields’ derby on Saturday afternoon.
The game was transferred to the Cessnock Sportsground on Thursday, after a sewage leak made Kurri’s ground unplayable, and the Goannas making full use of their home ground advantage in going on to claim a season double over their local rivals.
To make matters worse for the Bulldogs, former NRL backrower Reegan Tanner and outstanding five-eighth Mitch Steel succumbed to injury early in the contest, with Kurri already without front-rower and captain Jesse Royal with an ankle problem.
Cessnock had all their representative stars on deck and were dominant from the first whistle, skipping out to an early lead which they extended to 22-0 at
The Goannas scored eight tries to one including doubles to NSW Country representative Chris Pyne and centre Alan Lantry, with Terrence Seu Seu, Joel Brown, Dan Metcalfe and Brendan Hlad all crossing for four-pointers.
Former Newcastle Knight Riley Brown also potted a field goal, while winger James Charles was the only point scorer for the Bulldogs with a consolation try.
The 37 point loss sees Kurri slip to fifth on the Newcastle Rugby League table on for and against after Maitland’s win over South Newcastle on Saturday.
The Pickers also have a game in hand.
Kurri will need to bounce back next weekend when they travel to the Tomaree Sporting Complex to take on the last placed Port Stephens Sharks, looking to keep their hopes of a first premiership in 16 years alive.
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