The Christchurch Bulldogs have one hand firmly on the Terry Anderson Shield after a big win in the first leg of their three match contest with the University Cougars.
Northwood Oval again put on premium football conditions for the third round clash between the top and bottom placed teams in the CAFL. The gap was most noticeable after half time as a small number of fill in players for the Cougars went on their way back to Dunedin and left the University boys with fifteen men.
The Bulldogs seized the advantage, piling on eleven goals in the third term alone, to extend an eight goal lead at halftime to an insurmountable lead at three quarter time. Numerous injuries of their own meant the Bulldogs opted to play with one less on the field and with the result already secured the foot was taken off the pedal and the final quarter was a more competitive five goals to two.
The Bulldogs have never relinquished the Terry Anderson shield and their strong performance, and the Cougars continued struggle to put players on the park, mean they are odds on to hold it for another year.
After three rounds the Bulldogs have defeated all other teams in the competition, with a much more competitive Mid-Canterbury Eagles outfit the next hurdle. The Eagles are coming off two wins in a row and are full of confidence after suffering a heavy defeat in the first round.
The season is starting to take shape and the early advantage of preseason training will diminish as other teams get some playing time together and get a good look at how the Bulldogs have achieved their early success. The next three rounds could all but ensure a Grand Final berth, giving the Bulldogs the chance to go one step further than in 2015.