Jeff Dickinson-Fox reviews the campaign which saw Melbourne Storm crowned premiers in 2017.
3 days ago
Try as they did the Bulldogs could not haul in the visiting Broncos at Telstra Stadium, going down in the end by 24-0, the first time since 2001 the Bulldogs have not posted any points in a match.
With a terrific start by the Bulldogs, time after time the Broncos found themselves defending their own line, but with success. The Bulldogs could find no holes.
The second twenty minutes of the first half saw the momentum swing the Broncos way who, with fast plays stretched the Bulldogs defence enough to score 2 converted tries, and to lead at the break by 12-0.
The second half did not see any of the expected comeback by the Bulldogs, mostly due to the solid defence shown by the Broncos. Very quick plays did not stop the scrambling Broncos defence, who in turn were able to break the Bulldogs line and score another 2 tries in the second half.
LeagueUnlimited players of the match:
3 - S Berrigan (Broncos) 2 - D Lockyer (Broncos) 1 - W Mason (Bulldogs)
Scorers: BULLDOGS 0 Tries: Goals: defeated by BRONCOS 24 Tries: Ikin, Lockyer, Berrigan, Tate Goals: De Vere (4/5)
By the clock:
A big crowd greets the players as they run out onto the field.
6th min: NEWS - Two times in the game the Bulldogs have loked like scoring, but have been unable to finish them off. The Broncos soaking up a lot of defence early in the game
15th min: NEWS - Anasta and Sherwin (Bulldogs) trying very hard to get points on the board but the Broncos are not letting them through. Slippery conditions are not helping.
20th min: NEWS - Berrigan (Broncos) gets a one on one strip from Price close to his line, and is there on the 5th tackle and just about scores but the ball is ripped out by Patten. A break by Lockyer soon after is also stopped by Patten. Still 0-0
28th min: TRY - Ikin for Broncos. Finally the deadlock is broken. Quick passes had the Bulldogs defence stretched, and Ikin backs up Lockyer beautifully to touch down not far from the posts. De Vere from 20 metres in from touch, has no trouble with the kick. Broncos 6-0
35th min: NEWS - Video ref called in when it looked as though De Vere (Broncos) was held back from scoring by Thurston. Bulldogs get the call. Still Broncos 6-0
38th min: TRY - Lockyer for Broncos. A mistake by the Bulldogs fullback Patten gave possession to the Broncos close to their line. Fast play, and Lockyer's in close to the posts. An easy conversion by De Vere to extend their lead. Broncos 12-0
HALF TIME: The Broncos have hit back hard after 10-15 minutes of attack by the Bulldogs in the beginning of the match.
46th min: NEWS - Bulldogs very close to scoring but still having no luck, breaking the defence is like hitting a brick wall. The Broncos are playing out of their skins. Broncos 12-0
52nd min: NEWS - Unbelieveable amount of mistakes by both sides have crept into the game.
53rd min: TRY - Berrigan for Broncos. A strong tackle on Thurston by Berrigan knocked the ball to the ground. Berrigan gathers the ball and runs 30 metres to score unopposed. De Vere adds the 2 extra points. Broncos 18-0
60th min: NEWS - No change to the score. The Broncos are holding tight leaving the Bulldogs scoreless. Utai (Bulldogs) seconds ago, just about scored, taking out the corner flag, but once again the scrambling defence covered nicely.
70th min: NEWS - Unbelieveable defence by the Broncos. No way through for the Bulldogs players trying again and again to bust the line. Broncos 18-0
74th min: NEWS - De Vere misses his first kick of the night after a Bulldogs player was penalised in the play of the ball area.
75th min: TRY - Tate for Broncos. Kelly, playing his 150th first grade match, gets the ball out wide to Tate who in turn does a little chip over the head of the defence, regathers, and scores. De Vere, from 10 metres in, gets the kick. Broncos 24-0
FULL TIME: A lot of mistakes in the game, but great team work by the Broncos to keep the Bulldogs from scoring. Even in the dying seconds, a mad rush of defence is there to stop Matt Utai from going over in the corner. Good work.