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Canterbury Bulldogs 32 vs Wests Tigers 12
Match summary: Canterbury Bulldogs piled on 22 unanswered points in the second half of their match against Wests Tigers to defeat them comfortably, 32-12.
The heat at ANZ Stadium Sydney seemed to be a telling factor as the defence from both sides gradually slowed late in the game.
Wests Tigers came out firing and five minutes into the match were rewarded with a try to Beau Ryan, with Tigers stand out player, Brett Hodgson, lining him up for the corner.
The Bulldogs hit back in the half with 2 tries to Luke Patten and went into the break with a 14-12 lead following a late Tigers try in the half to Halatau.
The comprehensive second half display by the Bulldogs sealed the match as the Tigers defence tired in the heat. The last twenty minutes of the match, 22 points were scored by the Bulldogs to hand Wests Tigers their 1st defeat in 2008.
Match details Round 3 - Full Time :: March 30th, 2008 3:00pm Venue: ANZ Stadium Referee: Jared Maxwell
Canterbury Bulldogs 32 Tries: Luke Patten (2), Hazem El Masri, Sonny Bill Williams, Heka Nanai, Andrew Ryan Goals: Hazem El Masri (4/5), (0/1)
Wests Tigers 12 Tries: Beau Ryan, Dene Halatau Goals: Brett Hodgson (2/2)
LeagueUnlimited.com Player of the Match 3 Points: Hazem El Masri 2 Points: Sonny Bill Williams 1 Point: Luke Patten
273 games for El Masri today
1 min: Bulldogs kick off on a very warm afternoon in Sydney.
3 min: Winitana takes off down the sideline only to be called back to the other players 80 metres away, due to a forward pass.
5 min: TRY Wests Tigers Quick plays by the Tigers with Hodgson throwing a dummy and Ryan is over to score out wide. Conversion attempt by Brett Hodgson successful. Wests Tigers 6-0
10 min: Bulldogs still settling into the game, making unforced errors, however the defence of the Tigers looking good so far in the match.
16 min: End to end stuff at the moment with both sides completing their sets but not threatening the defence.
20 min: TRY Canterbury Bulldogs Finally the Bulldogs let lose with Tonga breaking thru the otherwise solid Tigers defence. Patten flies through to gather the kick in goal. Conversion attempt by Hazem El Masri successful. 6 all
23 min: Pressure put on El Masri following a high kick by Morris close to the Tigers try line. Looking into the sun, he does well to take control of it.
27 min: The Tigers pound their try line but the Bulldogs defence stepped up to the task well.
29 min: Possession 60/40 to the Tigers.
32 min: The Tigers once again on attack but Hodgson's kicking is strong and for the 2nd time the ball goes dead.
35 min: TRY Canterbury Bulldogs Patten wrong foots two Tigers defenders who slip through and scores his 2nd of the day. Conversion attempt by Hazem El Masri unsuccessful. Canterbury Bulldogs 10-6
36 min: TRY Wests Tigers The Tigers hit straight back after Robert fails to pick up a pass at his ankles and Halatau is there to scoop up the ball.. Conversion attempt by Brett Hodgson successful. Wests Tigers 12-10
HALFTIME: Close fought game with the Tigers leading the Bulldogs by 12-10
41 min: Both sides out and ready for the battle ahead in the next 40 minutes.
44 min: TRY Canterbury Bulldogs A mistake close to their line by the Tigers resulting in a break by Sonny Bill. Fifth tackle and a great offload by Winitana smothered by Tigers defenders, has El Masri over right by the corner post. Conversion attempt by El Masri unsuccessful. Canterbury Bulldogs 14-12
47 min: Lawrence a bit winded after a tough tackle. Penalty awarded to the Tigers 15 metres out from their line.
50 min: All that's visible under the Tiger's attackers is the long arm of Sonny Bill Williams as he stretches to get the ball back in the field of play following some great attacking by the Tigers.
55 min: Bulldogs close to scoring out wide with El Masri but the scrambling defence of the Tigers right on target.
58 min: TRY Canterbury Bulldogs A mislaid kick by Morris finds Sonny Bill's foot who lumbers 80 metres to score. Conversion attempt by Hazem El Masri successful. Canterbury Bulldogs 20-12
64 min: With the Bulldogs controlling the majority of the 2nd half, the Tigers throw caution to the wind on the fifth tackle, and nearly pull it off but the Bulldogs have a look of determination on their faces.
69 min: Hodgson once again saves the day for the Tigers as he is pummelled by 3 Bulldogs attackers right on their line, and manages to stay in play.
75 min: Heat may be taking it's toll on the players as the game goes on. The Tigers players looking lethargic. Farrar off the field with what looks like a leg injury.
76 min: TRY Canterbury Bulldogs Another set of six 20 metres out for the Dogs. Spreading it wide against tiring defence and rewarded with a try. Conversion attempt by Hazem El Masri successful. Canterbury Bulldogs 26-12
79 min: TRY Canterbury Bulldogs After battling thru the second half the Tigers couldn't keep up with the Bulldogs attack. Conversion attempt by Hazem El Masri successful. Canterbury Bulldogs 32-12
FULLTIME: 22 unanswered points for the Bulldogs in the 2nd half brought the Tigers unbeaten run in 2008 to an end. Final score 32-12 Bulldogs.