Jeff Dickinson-Fox reviews the campaign which saw Melbourne Storm crowned premiers in 2017.
2 days ago
The Bulldogs fired quickly in the first half with two tries in the opening 8 minutes. Josh Reynolds started the play with a cross field kick to Josh Morris, he managed a little grubber through the line for Josh Jackson to score.
The second quick try came through former Wests Tiger, Mitch Brown who was on end of some quick passes to the corner and he dived over. The Bulldogs running the Eels all over the park early with a 10-0 lead.
The game turned in favour of the Eels who rolled through the Bulldogs defence with their own two tries in four minutes. Chris Sandow has returned to form as he guided his side around to create the point scoring opportunities.
Sandow firstly rocketed a bomb kick for Matt Ryan who cleaned up the deflection of a Bulldogs defence to crash over for first Eels points.
The second Eels try came onn the back of a penalty, as Chris Sandow spread the Steeden wide to Cheyse Blair who danced is way over the whitewash. The video referee couldn't over turn the on field referees original call on review and the try awarded. After 18 minutes, the game was locked at 10-all.
Man of the Match Josh Reynolds is beginning to push for the NSW Blues halves spot as he was all class with a brilliant solo four-pointer in the 22nd minute. Reynolds fooled the Eels defence with a magic 70 metre bolt down field. A simple show-and-go run around Hayne saw him streaked away.
The Bulldogs not done with the points as their 4th try came minutes later, this time for Sam Perrett. Reynolds on song again with his performance as he supplied a pin-point kick for Sam Perrett to jump above the pack and plant the ball on the goal line. Bulldogs on fire thanks to their half in Reynolds. Inside 10 minutes before half time, Bulldogs lead the Eels 20-10.
The video referee called upon again by the on field referees to confirm a try for Cheyse Blair. Blair scrambled on the loose ball spilled by the Bulldogs and raced in for the Eels third try of the night.
A talking point among Rugby League fans as Chris Sandow was deemed not to have used a shoulder charge to attempt to tackle a Bulldogs charger. No penalty given as the green lights were spun up.
As the half time siren sounded a penalty was awarded to the Bulldogs, Krisnan Inu from 53 metres out attempted a penalty goal – however it was unsuccessful. As a result the half time scoreline read, Bulldogs leaders over the Eels 20-16.
The moment of the match turned sour in the second half with no points scored by either team. Both sides were presented chances but the pressure built to see mistakes creep into the game. The Bulldogs' defence held strong as they defeated the Eels 20-16.
Both sides will review the match and hope to build from a poor second half. The Bulldogs travel south across the border for a 2012 Grand Final rematch against the Melbourne Storm. Meanwhile the Eels travel to Leichhardt Oval to crash with Wests Tigers.