Trying times for Dogs in the yard

Canterbury Bulldogs players Trent Hodkinson and Sam Perrett gave Mt Lawley Primary School students a taste of rugby league after they arrived in Perth yesterday for their clash with Melbourne Storm at nib Stadium tomorrow.

Bringing two heavyweights of the game to the city is part of WA Rugby League's push for its own NRL side, West Coast Pirates, in the next three years.

It is Bulldogs halfback Hodkinson's first trip to Perth.

"We're looking forward to it. Expanding the game is a good thing," he said.

"Hopefully, we can come away with the two points and make it a successful trip."

Storm captain Cameron Smith, who is also Australian and Queensland State of Origin leader, played in the Storm's two previous visits to nib Stadium - their 2009 win and 2010 loss against South Sydney Rabbitohs.

"It's going to be a great game of footy," Smith said.

"It's good to have two quality sides over here in Perth to promote the game.

"I've been over twice before to play and we've had great crowds. The guys are looking forward to playing somewhere different."

The Storm are unbeaten in the first three games, while the Bulldogs will want to get back on track after going down 18-16 to a last-minute conversion against Penrith for their second loss of the year. Smith predicted a tough tussle.

"The Bulldogs have been playing some good football," he said. "We're playing OK but we could play better."

WARL chief executive John Sackson said it was a chance to showcase the game at the elite level.

"It provides another chance to promote, grow and develop the game," he said. "Importantly, it gives supporters the opportunity to demonstrate their passion to have their own NRL team."

Storm beat the Bulldogs 14-4 in the 2012 grand final.

The Bulldogs have won eight premierships and the Storm have won two.

The West Australian

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