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The game which had it all, finally belonged to the Bulldogs who defeated the Roosters by 32 - 26 right on the buzzer.
The game could've gone either way right throughout the entire match, and certainly lived up to the media hype that preceeded kickoff.
Although the Bulldogs had the lead at half time by 14-8, the Roosters certainly never looked out of the game, and being the first to score in the second half, weren't about to relinquish the lead.
And that they didn't right until the last minute. With the scores locked at 26 all in the 73rd minute, it looked as though this game was going to be the first to go to extra time, but the Bulldogs knew what had to be done, and did it with style, Matt Utai's try one of the best so far this year.
A great game to watch.
Leagueunlimited players of the match:
3 - S Price (Bulldogs) 2 - B Harris (Bulldogs) 1 - A Minichiello (Roosters)
Scorers: BULLDOGS 32 Tries: El Masri, Harris, Ryan, Thurston, Utai Goals: El Masri (6/6) defeated ROOSTERS 26 Tries: Minichiello, Byrne, Hegarty, Cross Goals: Fitzgibbon (5/6)
By the clock:
A lot of hype going into this game, let's see if it lives up to the expectations. Conditions look soft after rain during the week in Sydney.
5th min: TRY - El Masri for Bulldogs. Following a knock on at the Roosters scrum, the Bulldogs get a scrum close to their line. Spreading it along the backline, Sherwin finishes with a beautiful kick out wide for El Masri to gather and score. El Masri bringing up 800 points, gets the kick over from the touch line. Bulldogs 6-0
11th min: TRY - Minichiello for Roosters. Minichiello from the 50 metre line gets the pass out to a speeding Hodges, who draws 2 players, then gets the ball back inside to Minichiello who scores. Fitzgibbon, 20 metres in from touch, gets the conversion. 6-6
13th min: NEWS - Crocker (Roosters) off the field with a shoulder or arm injury. Craig Wing on as a replacement.
14th min: PENALTY GOAL - Fitzgibbon for Roosters. Bulldogs penalised for being inside the 10 metres. Fitzgibbon from right in front does not miss. Roosters 8-6
20th min: NEWS - An even contest as expected in slippry conditions. Crocker (Roosters) has popped the AC joint in his shoulder, unlikely to return to the game.
26th min: TRY - Harris for Bulldogs. A penalty gets the Bulldogs close to their line. Quick plays and Harris bangs the ball over the line, after taking on Minichiello close to the line. El Masri gets the conversion from close to the touch line. Bulldogs 12-8
33rd min: PENALTY GOAL - El Masri for Bulldogs. Back to back penalties for the Bulldogs to get them close to their line. No trouble for El Masri from 19 metres out. Bulldogs 14-8
HALF TIME: End to end play by both sides to finish the half. High penalty count by ref Harrigan's standards 6-4 count in favour of the Bulldogs.
43rd min: TRY - Byrne for Roosters. A typical grubber by Fittler for Byrne to dive on all started by a one on one strip by Wing at the other end of the field. Fitzgibbon from 10 metres in from touch, gets the conversion. 14-14.
51st min: PENALTY GOAL - Fitzgibbon for Roosters. Bulldogs penalised yet again for being inside the 10 metres, now threatening the yelllow card. Fitzgibbon, from right in front, was never going to miss. Roosters 16-14
55th min: TRY - Hegarty for Roosters. From 45 metres out it looked as though Hegarty would be caught, but the slippery character dodged 3 or 4 defenders to score under the posts. Fitzgibbon gets the easy conversion. Roosters 22-14
58th min: TRY - Ryan for Bulldogs. Great plays for the Bulldogs, Sherwin kicks on the fifth and Minichiello bombs the catch. Ryan, quick as a flash kicks the ball on and dives across the line. Video ref deems Ryan wasn't offside at the kick, the commentators don't agree, but the try is given. Great kick by El Masri to add the extra 2 points. Roosters 22-20
62nd min: NEWS - Try disallowed by the video ref, El Masri (Bulldogs) knocking on in goal following a great kick by Anasta to the corner. Reardon (Bulldogs) sidelined with a rib injury, he will not return to the game
65th min: TRY - Cross for Roosters. A great take by Fitzgibbon on a kick by Sherwin set up the Roosters to spread it wide through Minichiello and a couple of other players to get Cross across out wide. A tough kick by Fitzgibbon goes wrong. Roosters 26-20
73rd min: TRY - Thurston for Bulldogs. The Bulldogs close to their line, got 6 more tackles after a Roosters player touched the ball on the last. The Roosters defence didn't have time to regroup, kicking early in the tackle count, and the ball is kicked ahead perfectly for Thurston to dive on. El Masri, from 20 metres out, gets the conversion. 26-26
77th min: NEWS - Finch (Roosters) bombs the first chance at a field goal. Will this be the first match to go to extra time?
79th min: TRY - Utai for Bulldogs. The Bulldogs setting up play for the field goal, throw it wide, and the strength of Utai busts through 3 defenders to score. The conversion by El Masri from out wide is over. Bulldogs 32-26
FULL TIME: What a finish !!