The Canterbury Bulldogs have sealed a top two spot coming into the finals with a messy but convincing 28-4 win over rivals Sydney Roosters.
The Bulldogs have completed an amazing twelve month turnaround going from wooden-spooners to premiership contenders. The match was messy, filled with plenty of errors but the Bulldogs came out of it convincingly. Veteran halfback Brett Kimmorley lead the attack, setting up the majority of plays for the Canterbury side.
Luke Patten scored the first two tries of the match to get the Bulldogs side rolling, both tries involved the work of Kimmorley who kicked for the first one (also involving Idris) and throwing a great pass for the second one. The 12-0 lead put the side in control but the Bulldogs side still continued to put errors into their performance.
The Roosters were able to get onto the board right before the break thanks to some solid passing, but they never took their performance to another level.
The Bulldogs started the second half well with Kimmorley sending a short pass to Josh Morris for his sixteenth try of the year. Minutes later Kimmorley was once again in the middle of the action, offloading to Greg Eastwood who sent crowd favourite Hazem El Masri over the line.
The Roosters attempted to get back into the match several times, but two breaks by Mason and one by Pearce ended with no support, costing the Roosters dearly.
After a video referee decision cost Patten his third try, Jarrad Hickey became the playmaker sending David Stagg over for the ending try following a series of great runs and offloads.
The Bulldogs are now in second position, equal on points with the ladder leading Dragons. The Roosters are still in last, and it will take something big to get them off the bottom of the ladder.
Canterbury Bulldogs 28 def Sydney Roosters 4
Round 24 - Monday August 24th, 2009 07:00pm
Venue: ANZ Stadium, Homebush Bay
Referee: Jared Maxwell & Chris James
Sideline Officials: Daniel Eastwood & Peter Kirby
Video Referee: Russell Smith Crowd: 12,298 Halftime: Canterbury Bulldogs 12 Sydney Roosters 4
LeagueUnlimited.com Player of the Match 3 Points: Brett Kimmorley (Bulldogs) 2 Points: Luke Patten (Bulldogs) 1 Point: Hazem El Masri (Bulldogs)
LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary Talk about the game as it happens - Bulldogs v Roosters forum discussion - click here!
BULLDOGS: 1. Luke Patten 2. Hazem El Masri 3. Josh Morris 4. Jamal Idris 5. Bryson Goodwin 6. Ben Roberts 7. Brett Kimmorley 8. Jarrad Hickey 9. Michael Ennis 10. Michael Hodgson 11. Greg Eastwood 12. Andrew Ryan (c) 13. David Stagg Interchange: 14. Brad Morrin 15. Chris Armit 16. Gary Warburton 17. Yileen Gordon ROOSTERS: 1. Sam Perrett 2. Iwi Hauraki 3. Mitchell Aubusson 4. Setaimata Sa 5. Shaun Kenny-Dowall 6. Anthony Minichiello 7. Mitchell Pearce 8. Frank-Paul Nuuausala 9. Jake Friend 10. Shane Shackleton 11. Sia Soliola 12. Willie Mason 13. Craig Fitzgibbon Interchange: 14. Stanley Waqa 15. Nate Myles 16. Riley Brown 17. Ben Jones
In the Toyota Cup the Bulldogs easily defeated the Roosters 42-12.
4 min: Second penalty already for the Bulldogs, but Goodwin spills it close to the line.
6 min: Kenny-Dowall spills a ball to continue an early run of errors from both sides.
9 min: Still going. Both Sa and Holdsworth knock on in the same play, Roosters will get the scrum though.
13 min: Big hit against Eastwood. He seems alright. Still scoreless as the Bulldogs are on the attack inside the Roosters twenty.
14 min: VIDEO REFEREE Possible Bulldogs Try Idris beats Hauraki to a high ball who knocks it back to Luke Patten for a possible try...it's looking good for him.
14 min: TRY Canterbury Bulldogs The try is awarded and the Bulldogs are on the board first. Idris having a good dig at it so far. Conversion attempt by Hazem El Masri successful. Canterbury Bulldogs 6-0
17 min: The handling errors going both ways at the moment, but the Dogs are staying on top.
19 min: Minichiello spills it close to the line.
22 min: TRY Canterbury Bulldogs Despite a desperate chase from Kenny-Dowall, Patten is able to claim his second try, this time a runaway one. The Bulldogs starting to really build their momentum. Conversion attempt by Hazem El Masri successful. Canterbury Bulldogs 12-0
25 min: Patten close to grabbing his third from a Kimmorley grubber.
26 min: The Roosters finally get their first penalty.
29 min: Perrett was the last man to stop Goodwin and made a great tackle but the Dogs continue their attack. Roosters in trouble again.
31 min: Patten being the trysaver this time stopping Perrett. The Roosters deep on the attack.
33 min: For the one millionth time it seems there is an error made in the play-the-ball.
36 min: TRY Sydney Roosters Following an error by Ennis, the Roosters get back into the match with a series of offloads close to the tryline sending Ben Jones over the line. Conversion attempt by Craig Fitzgibbon unsuccessful. Canterbury Bulldogs 12-4
40 min: A forward pass is sent to Goodwin for what could've been another try as half-time is called.
Half Time - Bulldogs 12 lead Roosters 4 An interesting half which was annoyingly filled with errors, but the Dogs hold a decent lead. Remember, a win for the Dogs will put them on equal competition points with the ladder-leading Dragons. The Roosters aren't out of it yet, they can get back into this match.
Join us for the second half, starting soon.
The second half is underway, the Bulldogs with the ball.
41 min: James Aubusson throws a forward pass from dummy half, continuing the error rate.
44 min: Kimmorley nails a 40/20, changing the lackluster start from both sides for the second half.
47 min: TRY Canterbury Bulldogs Morris goes over following repeated pressure from his team-mates. Once again Kimmorley right in the middle of the action, putting the Bulldogs in control of the match. Conversion attempt by Hazem El Masri unsuccessful. Canterbury Bulldogs 16-4
49 min: All of a sudden another 40/20 was close! This time it was Ennis who kicked it. Perrett saves the day though.
53 min: TRY Canterbury Bulldogs Crowd favourite Hazem El Masri has scored! Once again it was Kimmorley who sparked the play, sending a great ball to Eastwood who sent a flying El Masri over to score the try to put the Dogs in a great winning position. Conversion attempt by Hazem El Masri successful. Canterbury Bulldogs 22-4
59 min: Kimmorley makes his first error with a pass that went over the head of everybody. Goodwin was unable to control it and the Roosters get the scrum.
65 min: Holdsworth nearly pulls off a chip-and-chase but is stopped by Kenny-Dowall. Good work from him, the Dogs still well on top.
66 min: Mason makes a giant break before Patten takes him down. Yet again, for the second time in minutes, there is no support player in sight and the ball goes back to the Dogs. If you want a real difference between the clubs, that's it!
67 min: VIDEO REFEREE Possible Bulldogs Try This time Patten beats Perrett to the line. There is a check for obstruction against Fitzgibbon.
67 min: No Try
68 min: Oh dear. Pearce makes a break but guess what...no support. That is three possible tries wasted in just minutes from the Roosters. For the second time in a row, without looking the runner throws the ball to where a support player should be and the Bulldogs get the ball. The Dogs make an ensuing error so the Roosters will get a scrum inside the Bulldogs half.
73 min: TRY Canterbury Bulldogs Hickey sends a beautiful offload to Stagg to put the rubber stamp on what will be remembered as a messy but convincing win. Conversion attempt by Hazem El Masri successful. Canterbury Bulldogs 28-4
Kimmorley comes off with a standing ovation, an amazing game by him. Crowd is 12,298.
77 min: Patten makes a massive run but is pulled down. A mistake follows unfortunately for them.
80 min: Patten takes the final kick, so that will end what was an important win for the Canterbury side.
FULL TIME - CANTERBURY BULLDOGS DEFEAT SYDNEY ROOSTERS 28-4 The Dogs will finish in the top two, completing an amazing turnaround. The Roosters never offered much and will walk away still in the bottom position.Like