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NRL: Dolphins ready for Bulldogs battle

While the Canterbury Bulldogs will already have one eye on the next NRL season, the Dolphins are still battling to finish in the top eight this year.

With the two sides preparing to clash at the Salter Oval on Saturday, the Dolphins will know they can’t afford to slip up against the Bulldogs if they are to reach the finals this season.

Bulldogs building for 2024

WhatCanterbury Bulldogs v Dolphins
WhereSalter Oval, Bundaberg
When14:00 (AEST), Sunday 30th July 2023
How to watchKayo & Foxtel
OddsCanterbury Bulldogs 2.30, Dolphins 1.62

Sat down in 16th place in the table and with no hope of finishing in the top eight, the Bulldogs will already have one eye on next season and making sure they are in better shape for the next campaign.

It has been a disappointing season for Canterbury, with just six wins to their name in their first 19 outings.

With an unenviable points difference of -262, even bottom-placed West Tigers has a better record in that department with -199.

There is plenty of work to be done for the Bulldogs ahead of the new campaign and the sooner they can put plans in place to be stronger in 2024 the better.

Injuries have certainly not helped their cause this season with marquee signing Viliame Kikau sidelined since the fourth round of the competition and Australia winger Josh Addo-Carr only able to feature 10 times this term.

Kangaroos flyer Addo-Carr is back to feature against the Dolphins, along with the likes of Viliame Kikau and Jacob Preston who also return.

The returning stars will be a significant boost for the Bulldogs, who are 2.30 to cause an upset and claim the win on Sunday. 

Addo-Carr is 1.95 to score Anytime on Sunday, while the Kangaroos star is available at 10.00 to score the opening try of the game.

Dolphins eyeing response

After a 24-14 defeat to reigning champions Penrith Panthers last time out, the Dolphins will be looking for a response this weekend.

Sat just two points outside the top eight, head coach Wayne Bennett will know his side can afford any mistakes this week against a Bulldogs team with little to play for.

Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow finds himself back at fullback after a couple of games in the centres, with Valynce Te Whare coming in as part of a backline reshuffle.

Kodi Nikorima has moved along to five-eighth and Anthony Milford finds himself on the bench for this one.

The Dolphins are 1.62 to win this one, while the visitors to Salter Oval are 2.00 to come out on top with -4.5 in the Line market.    

Bennett’s side have five games following this weekend’s clash with the Bulldogs and it looks like the race for the top eight will be going right down to the wire.

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