JAMES POLSON: Well that was one of the more bizarre games we've seen in a while. The Bulldogs were the better side early yet went into the sheds behind. The Dragons then extended their lead to 12 before the Dogs ran in 31 unanswered points to take the two points. The win has them fifth and three points adrift of Manly and Melbourne, and despite the problems they had tonight the efforts of Sam Kasiano (man of the match for mine, the Bulldogs seemed to hit a new gear when he became involved) and Tony Williams offer Des Hasler plenty to smile about. Thanks as always for reading and be sure to log on to smh.com.au or pick up a copy of tomorrow's Herald for all the wash-up from tonight's match as well as the crucial third Test in Manchester where England are currently 1-5. We'll be back on Friday night with Phil Mitchell in the chair to kick off round 22. Cheers.
80 min: They're up 19 points with a minute to go but the Dogs are playing like the result is still in the balance. Mitch Brown makes a break before kicking in-field. Josh Reynolds pushes the Dragons defender in the back before stealing the ball and conceding a penalty in the process.
77 min: TRY. The forwards have laid the platform tonight. Tony Williams bails over to bag his second. After a disappointing year could he be the man to provide the Dogs' spark into the finals? Bulldogs 37 Dragons 20.
76 min: Another silly kicking incident - the Dragons fail to reach 10m and it's a Bulldogs penalty.
75 min: That'll do us. Trent Hodkinson slots one cool as you like and the Dogs have got their eyes firmly on the top four. After a fair bit of improvement, that is... Bulldogs 33 Dragons 20.
And speaking of that little match going on in Manchester - Jesse Hogan is the man for ball-by-ball coverage. After this game finishes, of course.
Cricket update - Alastair Cook is out lbw (Australia declared before the start of the day's play) and England are 1-0 with one review already wasted.
72 min: Josh Dugan cops one on the chin from Sam Kasiano who is penalised and placed on report. Still time for another twist in this frankly ridiculous match.
69 min: TRY. The Dogs' big men are unstoppable from close range. Sam Kasiano bags his second and it's just about curtains for the Dragons. Bulldogs 30 Dragons 20, kick to come.
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JAMES POLSON: The Dragons have conceded 18 unanswered points in not very long. After scoring four unanswered tries themselves. Who'd be a coach?
65 min: TRY. I can barely keep up with this. Tim Lafai makes the bust this time before offloading to Josh Morris who scores just to the right of the sticks. The Bulldogs are back in the lead. 24-20 with a kick to come.
62 min: And just like that we're back at the other end again. Trent Hodkinson makes the bust before taking on Josh Dugan. Michael Ennis then floats a beautiful ball from dummy-half to Sam Kasiano who crashes over as first-receiver. Hodkinson converts and we're all tied up at 20-20.
60 min: Six again for the Dragons - Josh Reynolds knocks a pass down that was heading for Brett Morris and most likely a Dragons try.
59 min: What. Is. Doing? Nathan Fien has kicked out on the full on the last but it looks like we're going back for a penalty for a Krisnan Inu shoulder charge on Josh Dugan. Aren't shoulder charges meant to go on report? Who knows.
59 min: Adam Quinlan fields the Dogs' kick and the Dragons are back in possession. They did well to withstand that pressure.
58 min: Time off as Brett Morris looks to have copped a head knock making a tackle. He's staying on the field though.
JAMES POLSON: The phrase comedy of errors is thrown around a lot but this certainly qualifies. Sorry readers, I'm not sure what happened the last minute or so. The upshot of it all is the Dogs are back in possession 20m out from the Dragons line.
56 min: The Bulldogs go down the left flank from a classy Josh Morris offload to Mitch Brown and they're 18m out on the last tackle.
52 min: Hodkinson makes no mistake and we're back to a converted try between the sides. Dragons 20 Bulldogs 14.
51 min: Try awarded and game on. Dragons 20 Bulldogs 12, kick to come. Crucial kick for Trent Hodkinson but it's a fairly easy one.
51 min: TRY? Maybe. Tony Williams barges over and he's a hard man to stop from close range. Doesn't look like there's too much wrong with this one.
50 min: And another kickoff comes up with a horror bounce - Dale Finucane almost scores but Adam Quinlan is able to clean up on the Dragons' line. Golden opportunity for the Dogs to hit back immediately.
49 min: Haven't used this icon too much tonight - but Josh Dugan converts and the lead is out to 12. Dragons 20 Bulldogs 8.
48 min: TRY. Sam Perrett again chases the intercept but doesn't get close and Daniel Vidot crosses out wide. That's four unanswered tries for the home side who now lead 18-8 with a kick to come.
47 min: Another penalty to the Dragons, again for a strip, and Des Hasler will be tearing that famous hair of his out. Discipline killing the Dogs at the moment.
45 min: Kicking the only thing you can fault in Duges' performance tonight - he's missed another conversion. Dragons lead by six, 14-8.
43 min: TRY. And once again the Dragons make it count and once again it's Josh Dugan in the thick of it. He gets an offload away to Nathan Green who juggles to in turn get a pass off to Jason Nightingale who crosses and improves the position in the process. Dragons 14 Bulldogs 8, kick to come.
42 min: Sam Kasiano penalised and the Dragons will resume 25m out from the Bulldogs' line.
42 min: Dream start for the Bulldogs - Dale Finucane is over but there's a few things to look at here, not least the grounding and a possible obstruction from Tony Williams. The grounding could be OK but Williams' push in the back on Nathan Green could prove costly.
41 min: Josh Dugan gets us under way and the Dogs let it bounce but fortunately for the blue half of the crowd it all ends well.
The Doggies are back on the park and kick-off is just a few moments away.
A bit of classic Oz (yes yes, I know) rock for tonight's half-time entertainment. I'm sure Josh Dugan has been known to belt this one out on the roof, but tonight it's dedicated to Michael Clarke's men as they keep an eye on the sky in Manchester. It's the appropriately-named Dragon.
MICHAEL CARAYANNIS: Josh Dugan may well become the Mayor of Kogarah after this one. How the Dragons are in this game, let alone in front, is a shock after the first half.
JAMES POLSON: It's hard to know what to say after that first half. The wind has been playing havoc with both sides (at least in the southern hemisphere Mother Nature appears to be unbiased, but more on that later) and the Dogs looked to be all over the Dragons in the opening 20 minutes. But they go in behind on the scoreboard. As for the home side, they've had a few lucky calls but have done well to get back into the match once the ball began to bounce their way. I'm going to tip them to go on with it. We'll be back in a few minutes with tonight's half-time entertainment as well as Michael Carayannis' (who, unlike me, has some idea of what he's talking about) take on the first 40 minutes. Dragons 10, Bulldogs 8, back soon.
40 min: Dugan converts and the Dragons head to the sheds with a 10-8 lead.
39 min: TRY time. And who else - Josh Dugan. The fullback once again creates something out of not much, his Dragons were at fours and fives before throwing it to Dugan who goes the toe and chases his own kick to score. All tied up at 8-8 and Dooooooooogs will have a chance to give his side the lead.
38 min: Another penalty for the Dragons and they'll resume 25m out from the Dogs' line.
34 min: And just like that we're back at the other end with Josh Morris inches from the line. A penalty has gone the way of the Bulldogs.
32 min: A less than brilliant set from the Dragons but nonetheless they force the dropout. Which flies 65m again. What's doing...
28 min: The wind rears its head again as Mitch Rein and Jack Stockwell are unable to stop the Dogs' kick-off going dead. They then get a lazy 70-odd metres from the dropout.
28 min: Dugan unsuccessful with the conversion keeping tonight's perfect imperfect record intact.
26 min: Josh Dugan is over for the Dragons - their first try in 205 minutes of game time. He charges over off the back of a Nathan Fien offload before stepping off his left foot and running from the 10 to score. No need for a second look and it's Bulldogs 8 Dragons 4 with a kick to come.
26 min: Another penalty - this time the Dogs' markers aren't straight.
25 min: James Graham getting some attention for a cut above his left eye but he's back to take his place in the Dogs' scrum.
25 min: Sam Perrett looks for the intercept out wide and knocks on in the process. Six again for the Dragons.
24 min: And another penalty to the Dragons and with it a big chance to hit back inside the Dogs' 20m.
23 min: Another penalty to the Dragons for what once again looked like a handling error.
23 min: Change for the Dogs - Dale Finucane is on for Greg Eastwood.
20 min: Score remains 8-0 and the Bulldogs have completed a perfect 10 of their sets.
16 min: This is looking like a long night at the office for the Dragons. Josh Morris is over the line but we've gone upstairs and no try ruled.
12 min: Another conversion left blowing in the wind. Bulldogs 8 Dragons 0.
12 min: The Bulldogs are in again- Josh Jackson finds the gap from a Josh Reynolds offload and it's 8-0 to the visitors.
11 min: Penalty to the Dogs 10m out from the line. Looks like they'll take the tap.
9 min: Nothing like a bit of brotherly love - Nathan Fien kicks early to the corner for the Dragons with Brett Morris in hot pursuit before brother Josh bundles him into touch without the ball. No penalty forthcoming and nor should there be. Rugby rugby rugby league!
8 min: Penalty goes to the home side. Josh Dugan appeared to have knocked on but it's ruled a strip. Incorrectly in your humble blogger's view.
6 min: Kick unsuccessful on a windy night down south. Score remains Bulldogs 4 Dragons 0.
5 min: The Bulldogs look to have scored the opener. Josh Reynolds goes the grubber and Trent Hodkinson is there to ground it in a scramble. We've gone upstairs.
4 min: And Tyson Frizell coughs it up for the Bulldogs to go on the attack in good position.
3 min: An awkward bounce from the Doggies' kick but Jason Nightingale is there to clean up for the Dragons.
1 min: Krisnan Inu gets us under way and it's Jack De Belin who takes the first hit-up for the Dragons.
The teams are making their way down the tunnel and it looks like a good crowd in for a Monday night.
Josh Morris will line up at fullback for the Bulldgs with Inu right centre and Perrett right wing #nrlsticby — Michael Carayannis (@MCarayannis) August 5, 2013
Bulldogs: Williams to bench - Jackson to start — Michael Carayannis (@MCarayannis) August 5, 2013
Plenty of changes for the Dragons:Chase Stanley, Michael Weyman and Bronson Harrison out.Tyson Friz & Ah Mau to start. Matthews Vea on bench — Michael Carayannis (@MCarayannis) August 5, 2013
JAMES POLSON: Welcome to tonight's live coverage of the Dragons hosting the Bulldogs as we wrap up round 21 of this most intriguing of NRL seasons. Where has the time gone? We're at one of the great grounds tonight - Kogarah Oval and there's plenty to play for on both sides of the half-way line. The Doggies can move into fifth with a win tonight, and within striking distance of Manly and Melbourne. Des Hasler's men face only one side above them on the ladder (Souths) in the last five rounds. The Dragons are hanging in there by the skin of their teeth but a loss tonight would all but end their slim finals hopes. Michael Carayannis is our man on the ground tonight and he'll have some team news in a moment. Back soon.