Bulldogs winger Sam Perrett has scored a hat-trick of tries to sink Canberra 28-16 in their NRL clash at Canberra Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
The Bulldogs' Josh Morris was brilliant at fullback for the injured Ben Barba, scoring the first try of the match and chiming in to assist Perrett in his triple.
While the Raiders would have been rueing the pre-match losses of attacking weapons Terry Campese and Blake Ferguson, it was their shaky fringe defence that was their undoing.
The home side were denied tries three times in the first half by the video referee, the Bulldogs rubbing salt into the wounds by scoring from the following set on each occasion.
Raiders centre Jack Wighton kicked off the "no try" rulings with a double movement in the sixth minute, the Bulldogs responding immediately through a try to Morris.
Matters got worse for the Raiders when Wighton, who was playing at centre due to a pre-match leg injury to Ferguson, was stretchered off with a suspected leg fracture.
Morris then set up a 10-0 lead when he created an overlap from a stuttered attack and threw a one hand pass to Perrett.
The video referee denied the Raiders for the second time when halfback Sam Williams knocked on while placing the ball, and the Bulldogs again made the Raiders pay in the following set through a 27th minute try to winger Mitch Brown.
It was then Raiders fullback Anthony Milford's turn to knock on above the white line, and again the Bulldogs went the length of the field to put Tim Lafai over for a 20-0 lead.
The Raiders managed to get on the scoreboard on the cusp of halftime through a try to winger Sandor Earl to trail 20-6.
But it was one-way traffic for the Bulldogs straight after the break, Perrett bagging tries number two and three to give his side a lead that would fend off a late Raiders fightback.
The Raiders now need to win their three remaining games to nab a finals berth, while the Bulldogs have all but secured a spot in the final eight and consolidate their position at fifth.
Canterbury Bulldogs 28 (S Perrett 3 M Brown T Lafai J Morris tries T Hodkinson 2 goals) Canberra Raiders 16 (S Earl A Milford J Papalii tries J Croker 2 goals) at Canberra Stadium. Referee: Gavin Reynolds, Ashley Klein. Crowd: 11,847
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