NORTH Coast Bulldogs maintained their position on top of the Andrew Johns Cup (under-16) ladder with an 18-0 shutout of NMR Knights at Tuncurry on Saturday.
For the second successive week the Bulldogs kept their tryline in tact in the four-tries-to-nil victory.
All the points were scored in the second half after both sides went to the break locked at nil-all with Bulldogs academy manager Daniel Tempest full of praise for hooker Hudson Harmer.
"He was again fantastic for us," he said.
The game was played in light rain which made handling difficult and errors came regularly in what Tempest admitted was a "scrappy" game.
But he was impressed with the Bulldogs ability to grind out a tough win.
"That's the second week in a row they've held a team to nil and if you're going to play in a scrappy game you would rather win it than lose it," he said.
"It's very pleasing defensively and they are showing that determination to keep turning up for each other and have the understanding and desperation to keep the opposition to nil."
Meanwhile, the Bulldogs consolidated their top four position in the Laurie Daley Cup (under-18s) with a comprehensive 28-12 victory over the Knights.
Macleay Valley Mustangs centre Chris Bull crossed for two tries as the Bulldogs kept the Knights scoreless in the second half.
Coach Dan Kemp said Bull was dangerous every time he touched the ball while hooker Ty-Jesse Brabant and centre Corey Lewis were strong in defence.
"Ty-Jesse had a role to play for us this week; we made a late change to the starting side and we used him at dummy half," Kemp said.
"(The Knights') middle are pretty big and we're a small side, so he stiffened our defence up.
"We're still a fair way from our best, but are all improving so who knows where they'll end up."
The win kept the Bulldogs in the hunt for the finals with the two sides from the northern part of the state and the two from the southern regions to play off in a couple of weeks.
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