But Georgallis’ side barely made their way into the Warriors’ red zone for the remaining 35 minutes.
In that time, Nikorima set up two more tries – having already put Jack Murchie over late in the first half – to seal the Bulldogs’ fate and ensure they remain locked in a battle with the Broncos for the dreaded wooden spoon.
“They hung in that game, the Warriors and we handed it to them in the second half. Poor defensive reads, poor kicking game, lack of direction,” a frustrated Georgallis said after the match.
“We just talked about it then. We have five weeks left to get off the bottom of the table. I’m going to pick a team that is going to try and do that. There will be a few changes this week.”
Nikorima displayed the sort of playmaking prowess severely lacking at the Bulldogs in the years they have anchored themselves to the bottom four of the competition.
While the effort from the current crop of Bulldogs has rarely been questioned, talent is another matter entirely. The 2631 Dogs fans at ANZ Stadium had their heads in their hands precisely five seconds into this clash.
That’s how long it took for Nick Meaney to send the first kick-off of the afternoon out on the full before he atoned by scoring the first try.
The promising prospect was the beneficiary of a fantastic Tim Lafai flick pass as the mid-season recruit was being bundled into touch.
Jeremy Marshall-King then dummied, dashed through a hole from just inside his own half and found Kieran Foran in support. The veteran playmaker scored and the Dogs fans were on their feet. As they should have been. The wooden spoon favourites were on track for their third win of the season.
If you had arrived at ANZ Stadium from Mars at 2pm, you would have sworn the Warriors were the team fighting to avoid the wooden spoon.
But when Nikorima kicked across the field and found Murchie in the 31st minute, sending the visitors into the break trailing 10-6, the match turned on its head.
Cogger put Hopoate over when play resumed but from that point on, it was all one-way traffic.
Murchie morphed from try-scorer to try creator when he drew two Bulldogs, dished a flick pass to Peta Hiku and the centre put Adam Pompey over in the 49th minute.
No more than two minutes later, Nikorima once again put Murchie in, this time with a lovely pass which caught the Bulldogs off guard.
Paul Turner was then denied two tries on debut; the first for a double movement, the next for clear obstruction on Cogger.
Bunker official Ashley Klein couldn’t take four points off Roger Tuivasa-Sheck.
Nikorima put the superstar fullback through a hole and he was rewarded for 337 run metres, a line break and five tackle busts with a try that sealed the result.
Another week, another 80 minutes of frustration for the Bulldogs.
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Sam is a sports reporter for The Sydney Morning Herald.