NSW State of Origin forward Josh Jackson faces a nervous wait after being put on report in Canterbury’s 24-12 NRL victory on Saturday night over Penrith at ANZ Stadium.
The win could come at a cost for the Blues, with Jackson placed on report for a lifting tackle on Panthers playmaker Jamie Soward in the first half.
With rested NSW backs Brett Morris and Trent Hodkinson in suits watching on, the Bulldogs overcame the sin-binning of Josh Reynolds to power their way to the win.
They shot out to a 12-0 lead when Reynolds pushed Soward in his pursuit of a Bryce Cartwright grubber with the tryline in sight.
But while the professional foul left his side down to 12 men, the hosts grew a leg as the bigger Bulldogs frustrated a Panthers attack that shot blanks without injured point man Matt Moylan.
Hooker James Segeyaro could yet join him on the sidelines after limping off with a knee injury midway through the second half.
The Bulldogs opened the scoring with a long-range effort when Josh Morris broke clear and found Sam Perrett in support in the 9th minute.
The home side went back-to-back through an acrobatic Curtis Rona putdown four minutes later, in what is certain to be a contender for try of the year.
Moses Mbye’s conversion from the sideline gave them the early 12-0 lead.
Tensions escalated after Reynolds prevented Soward from a chance to gather Cartwright’s grubber and then, minutes later, the former Dragon was dumped on his head by Jackson and Greg Eastwood, who was also put on report.
A 12-man Bulldogs defence physically blunted a Panthers attack that hadn’t scored in 140 minutes of football until Cartwright broke the drought with a chip and chase to reduce the gap to six points at the break.
The home side restored their two-try advantage when Sam Perrett dived over from close range in the 47th minute, before Reynolds completed a mixed night, chasing through a ricochet off his own grubber in the 51st minute.
Cartwright nabbed a consolation try five minutes from fulltime.
Penrith centre Dean Whare was put on report for a crusher tackle on Morris in the second half.