Bulldog sent off for first time in 14 years as Cowboys break back-to-back win drought

Bulldogs prop Jack Hetherington is facing a lengthy stint on the sidelines after becoming the first Canterbury player in 14 years to be sent off following a 56th-minute coathanger tackle on Valentine Holmes.

Despite playing with 12 men for more than a quarter of the match, the under-strength Bulldogs rallied to score the next two tries.

The consistency of the NRL’s send-off and sin bin rules has come into question after Jack Hetherington became the first Bulldog player in 14 years to be sent off for a coathanger on Valentine Holmes. Credit:Getty

It was never going to be a clash of the ages but the stats speak for themselves with 23 errors across the game. The Cowboys managed a 76 per cent set completion rate compared to the Bulldogs’ 79.

“We will take a win any way they come but we understand we have some work to do we playing a far better team next week,” Cowboys coach Todd Payten said about their round-seven clash against the Raiders.

Cowboys winger Kyle Feldt opened the scoring after six minutes of gameplay by capitalising on bomb set up by Ben Hampton. The Bulldogs replied six minutes later with a Hetherington offload sending forward Renouf Atoni across the line.

The Cowboys ran away in the second half with tries from Reece Robson, Ben Condon, Jake Granville and Mitchell Dunn. Tries from Kyle Flanagan and Tuipulotu Katoa would manage to put the Bulldogs in a strong spot for a comeback but the effort would prove not enough.

The Bulldogs were forced to make a number of changes for the match with captain Josh Jackson out due to a calf injury. The Cowboys were also without their captain after star forward Jason Taumalolo picking up a hand injury at training during the week.

Also absent during the match was referee Henry Perenara who had to pull out of the match on account of a serious medical issue. He was replaced with Ashley Klein.

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