12-man Roosters outclass Bulldogs

Round 6 Bulldogs 16 v Roosters 29

Match summary:

The Roosters have defeated the Bulldogs 29-16 in the Grand Final replay at Telstra Stadium tonight. The Roosters did it against all odds, after trailing 6-0 after one minute and 16-0 after 20 minutes, as well as Roosters forward Adrian Morley being unjustly sent off in a decision labelled by Roosters coach Ricky Stuart as "amateurish" and "a disgrace for this game".

The Bulldogs scored in the first minute on their first set through Luke Patten as he ran from dummy half 15 metres out to score. Minutes later the Bulldogs scored again thanks to Matt Utai intercepting an errant Stuart Webb pass. In the 19th minute, Willie Tonga scored for the Bulldogs after Anthony Minichello couldn't get to a Sherwin 40/20 kick to see Tonga scored in the corner after several tackles.

Six minutes later came the turning point in the game as Minichello held up Myles on the last tackle in the in-goal area. The Roosters scored off the set from which received the ball from the change over with Ryan Cross crashing over in the corner. Two minutes later after a Bulldogs turnover Tupou scored up the middle.

At half time, the Bulldogs held a 16-12 lead.

The second half started with tension as Ricketson and Maitua got into a swinging match that amounted to nothing more than a penalty. However, Morley was sent off after he caught Utai around the shoulders as he was returning a kick. The worst the tackle deserved was being put on report. However, the Roosters scored to finally take the lead thanks to Minichiello running onto a perfect pass and scoring out wide. Brett Finch then set up the perfect bomb for Joel Monaghan to score in Matt Utai's corner.

Brett Finch seemed to have sealed the game in the 70th minute with a field goal, and the win was put into the books as Cross scored in the corner in the 75th minute.

Scorers: BULLDOGS 16 Tries: Patten, Utai, Tonga Goals: El Masri (2/2) ROOSTERS 29 Tries: Cross (2), Tupou, Minichiello, Monaghan Goals: Fitzgibbon (3/4), Roberts (1/1) Field Goals: Finch (1/2) Telstra Stadium Crowd: 27,111 Referee: Paul Simpkins Half time: Bulldogs 16-12

By the clock: 0 min: Kick off in the Grand Final Replay, weather conditions fine.

1 min: TRY - Bulldogs Patten scores on the first set as he beats no markers in a 20 metre dash to the line. El Masri converts. 6-0 Bulldogs

4 min: TRY - Bulldogs Utai intercepts Stuart Webb and runs an easy 30 metres. El Masri Converts. 12-0 Bulldogs.

9 min: NEWS - Bulldogs tearing the Roosters to shreds up the middle, out wide, everywhere. A knock on 10 out stops the Dogs third try.

17 min: NEWS - The game is leveling out, the Roosters kicking game is really struggling while the Bulldogs kicking is great. Sherwin kicks a 40/20. 65/35% possession to the Bulldogs.

19 min: TRY - Bulldogs Willie Tonga scores through three defenders out wide following the Sherwin 40/20. El Masri misses the conversion. 16-0 Bulldogs.

25 min: NO TRY - Bulldogs Myles held up by Minichello after the Bulldogs run on the last tackle.

27 min: TRY - Roosters Cross scores out wide as the Roosters finally get some cohesion. Fitzgibbon converts. 16-6.

29 min: TRY - Roosters A charging Anthony Tupou scores up the middle from 10 out from the Bulldogs line. Converted by Amos Roberts. 16-12 Bulldogs.

37 min: NEWS - Roosters defence has improved and returned to a 2004 style.

40 min: HALF TIME - Roosters have done well to pull a 16 point defecit to only 4 points. Bulldogs started to lose their way at about the half hour mark.

41 min: Start of the second half from Telstra Stadium.

45 min: Ricketson and Maitua get into a punch up after Ricketson hits Maitua on the ground. Nothing more than a bit of handbag swinging.

48 min: SEND OFF - Morley is sent off for a high tackle on Matt Utai on a kick return. Questionable send off at best.

50 min: TRY - Roosters Minichello exploits an overlap on the short side and scores. Fitzgibbon converts. Roosters lead 18-16

55 min: TRY - Roosters Monoghan flies above Utai to score off a bomb in the corner from Finch. 22 unanswered points at the moment. Fiztgibbon misses. 22-16 Roosters.

61 min: NEWS - Roosters looking like the 2004 Roosters - including Chris Walker knocking the ball over the sideline 20 out from his own line.

63 min: CROWD - 27,111.

63 min: NEWS - Finch looks for the field goal.

67 min: NO TRY - Bulldogs Anasta ruled offside for an Asotasi try off a Sherwin kick.

70 min: FIELD GOAL - Roosters Brett Finch from 15 metres out.

75 min: TRY - Roosters Cross scores on the left side to seal the unlikely win for the Roosters. Fizgibbon converts. 29-16 Roosters.

80 min: FULL TIME The Roosters recover from trailing 16-0 and 16-12 at half time to score 29 unanswered points. The Bulldogs are consigned to 4 straight losses, for the first time since 2000.

----------------------------------------- Leagueunlimited.com players of the match: 3 - A Minichiello (Roosters) 2 - B Finch (Roosters) 1 - M Utai (Bulldogs) -----------------------------------------