Western Suburbs Magpies have seen their winning run come to an end this afternoon at the hands of the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs in Round 3 of the Canterbury Cup competition.
Leading 24-8 early in the second half, Western Suburbs looked on course to make it three wins from three to start the season before a frantic Bulldogs comeback paved the way for a grandstand finish which the home side couldn't quite see out.
Braden Robson was a standout for the hosts with the hooker scoring a hat-trick, while young forward Sam McIntyre also impressed with a try to start the match.
McIntyre's try got the game off to the perfect start for Western Suburbs, but Morgan Harper quickly hit back for the Bulldogs to cut the Magpies' lead to just two.
Robson's burrowing effort from dummy half after 26 minutes put the Magpies back up by eight before a try to Christian Crichton — who had been dropped back from the first-grade side — saw the lead cut to within one try at the break.
Cementing his hat-trick with tries two tries in the space of five minutes after half-time, Robson looked to have put the game beyond doubt for the Magpies as the hosts raced to a commanding 24-8 lead with half an hour still remaining.
However, the home side were unable to replicate their second half dominance from last week with tries to Tui Katoa and Bronson Garrick keeping the Bulldogs in the contest before a length-of-the-field try to Jesse Marschke five minutes from time saw the visitors emerge with an unlikely victory to end the Magpies' winning run.
Wests will look to bounce back next week when they travel to Aubrey Keech Reserve to take on an in-form Mounties side in their Round 4 clash.
Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 26 (Harper, Crichton, Katoa, Garlick, Marschke tries; Marschke 3/5 goals) def. Western Suburbs Magpies 24 (Robson 3, McIntyre tries; Gamble 4/4 goals) at Campbelltown Sports Stadium
Match: Magpies v Bulldogs
Round 3 -
Venue: Campbelltown Stadium