By Adam Vidler
14 February 2012 - The Express
THE Bulldogs return to their spiritual home at Belmore on Sunday has been declared a great success.
About 12,000 fans turned out in force despite mid-afternoon rain for the NRL trail against the Sydney Roosters.
New Bulldogs coach Des Hasler praised the Belmore faithful for their overwhelming support despite the 28-16 loss.
"The whole idea of the day, back to Belmore, the crowd rolled up and there's nothing like it on a Sunday afternoon, watching a game of footy," the ex-Manly coach said.
Back to Belmore president Luke Brailey said the Bulldogs first game at Belmore since 1998 marked the "pinnacle" of the group's goal to return the ground to a top class sporting facility.
Since the Back to Belmore group formed in 2005 its goal has been to promote the refurbishment of the venue and bring sport back. Mr Brailey said he "fully respected" the right of Bulldogs management to make informed decisions about where to play when their contract with ANZ Stadium expires in 2015.
The Roosters led 10-6 at half-time before Bryson Goodwin scored a try for the hosts two minutes into the new half. The visitors soon regained the lead and wrapped it up before Jonathan Wright scored for the Bulldogs in the 78th minute.