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The Canterbury Bulldogs have tackled their way to victory to defeat the St George Illawarra Dragons by 18-16 at WIN Stadium this evening.
In a tight match, the Bulldogs grabbed a handy half time lead of 18-4 following two late tries in the 38th and 40th minutes. St George supporters were fuming following a dubious penalty when the referee Paul Simpkins allowed the touch judge to over-rule him. In the following play, Ben Harris scored and in the next set, Harris posted a double when the Dragons defence opened up out wide.
Saints came out blazing in the second half and scored through John Cross in the 55th minute. But the Dragons were thwarted by some tremendous Canterbury defence. Despite repeat sets at the Bulldogs line, the home side could only manage one other try just before fulltime.
League Unlimited player of the year points: 3 - S Price (Bulldogs) 2 - S Timmins (Dragons) 1 - L Thompson (Dragons)
Saturday 17 May 2003 WIN Stadium Referee: Paul Simpkins
Scorers: DRAGONS 16 Tries: Kite, Cross, Timmins Goals: Riddell 1/2, Roberts 1/1 BULLDOGS 18 Tries: Harris 2, Norton Goals: El Masri 3/3
By the clock:
A cool night in Wollongong and good conditions following a week of rain. Slight breeze favouring the Dragons Kickoff!
2 min: TRY - Bulldogs. Travis Norton falls on a Brent Sherwin grubber to post a 4-pointer. Comes on the back of a penalty and repeat set. Conversion El Masri successful. Bulldogs 6-0
11 min: TRY - Dragons. Brent Kite scores out wide following lovely movement set up by Brett Firman and Shaun Timmins. Comes on the back of a 40/20 from Firman - Saints' fourth for 2003. Conversion Riddell unsuccessful. Bulldogs 6-4
38 min: TRY - Bulldogs. Ben Harris scores. Follows a dubious penalty when the referee allowed the touch judge to over-rule him. Saints' skipper, Lance Thompson protesting from the roof tops. Conversion El Masri. Bulldogs 12-4
40 min: TRY - Bulldogs. Harris gets a double and scores out wide in the next set. Conversion El Masri a tremendous kick. Bulldogs 18-4
HALF TIME: Saints fans spewing over some the ref decisions but they have had their chances in attack and have let themselves down with some soft defence just wide of the ruck. The scoreline flatters the Bulldogs but they have managed to convert their opportunities into points. Bulldogs 18-4
42 min: NEWS - Mathew Head (Dragons) cops an elbow and is forced from the field after being taken out by Thurston (Bulldogs). Bulldogs get the penalty.
55 min: TRY - Dragons. John Cross scores next to the posts after Saints get repeat sets at the Bulldogs' line. Conversion Roberts is successful. Bulldogs 18-10
62 min: NO TRY - Dragons replacement, Mathew Head is ruled to have made a double movement. Follows an enormous amount of possession to Saints who have been held out by a committed Bulldogs' defence.
74 min: TRY - Dragons. Shaun Timmins spins in a tackle and scores under the posts. Solo effort. But time is running out for the home side. Conversion Riddell. Bulldogs 18-16
FULL TIME: Defence wins games and it was a big defensive effort from the Bulldogs who were able to hold out St George for much of the second half. The visitors hanging on to win 18-16.