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Bulldogs do enough to
Canterbury Bulldogs 20 v North Queensland Cowboys 12
at Carrara Stadium, Gold Coast
Referee: Shayne Hayne
The Bulldogs have done enough to get away with a win over the insipid North Queensland Cowboys in their match at Carrara this afternoon. The final score was 20-12, with the Bulldogs leading 8-6 at half time.
It only took nine minutes for the Bulldogs to get on the board, care of a fantastic try to Roy Asotasi. Firman threw a dreadful pass that was dived on by the Bulldogs. The next play Asotasi bolted 40 metres to score underneath the posts. The Cowboys returned fire with a try to Paul Bowman, also off the back of a Bulldogs error. With 14 minutes to go before half time, El Masri gave the Bulldogs their 8-6 lead with a penalty goal.
It didn?t take the Cowboys long to take the lead after half time, Brenton Bowen latching onto an intercept off Sherwin and racing the 95 metres to score in about the time it took you to read this sentence. For 20 minutes the Bulldogs were unable to breach the Cowboys defence. They finally did with a fairly spectacular try to Brent Sherwin. Sherwin put up a less than average cross kick to El Masri, who offloaded to Sherwin who scored in the corner. Only two minutes later Tony Grimaldi scored off a Matt Bowen error for the final 20-12 lead.
Try as they might, the Cowboys were unable to make any inroads and the frustration built. The Cowboys are in utter freefall having lost 7 of their last 8, while the Bulldogs push into the Top 4.
There are several injury worries after the match. Matt Bowen was helped from the field late in the game, while Sonny Bill Williams left the field with a knee ligament injury, and Ashley Graham has a dislocated kneecap.
Canterbury Bulldogs: 20
Tries: Roy Asotasi, Tony Grimaldi, Brent Sherwin
Goals: Hazem El Masri 4/4
North Queensland Cowboys: 12
Tries: Brenton Bowen, Paul Bowman
Goals: Johnathan Thurston 2/2
Halftime: Bulldogs 8-6
By the Clock:
Good afternoon from Carrara Stadium on the Gold Coast. Today the Bulldogs take a game away from Telstra Stadium as they host the Cowboys at the future home of the Titans.
Last year the Cowboys romped away with this match, 48-12. The Bulldogs have been going well lately, however they lost last week 28-26 to Canberra. The Cowboys are in freefall, having won just once in the last two months. Last week they were clobbered by the Sharks 26-4 in Townsville.
A bit of damp on the Coast today.
1 min: Shayne Hayne blows time on!
9 min: TRY Canterbury Bulldogs
Firman throws a dreadful pass that is picked up by the Bulldogs. Asotasi gets the ball for a regulation hitup, but goes straight through flimsy defence and runs 40 metres to score under the posts. El Masri converts.
14 min: TRY North Queensland Cowboys
The Cowboys come up with the ball care of a Bulldogs error. They go close a couple of times, Bowman rushes onto the ball and scores just to the left of the posts. Thurston converts.
15 min: INJURY - Ashley Graham is down with a knee injury, and he is off the field. He has dislocated his kneecap.
20 min: Both teams are playing this game through the forwards, not much attacking enterprise.
24 min: Matt Bowen is just stopped short on the last tackle.
26 min: PENALTY GOAL Canterbury Bulldogs
El Masri lands a penalty goal for a play the ball infringement.
29 min: At the moment it looks like both teams are playing to not lose, rather than win.
35 min: All of a sudden both teams decide to throw the ball around a bit and both come up with errors.
37 min: A big hit from Williams forces a Cowboys mistake only 5 metres out from the Dogs line.
HALF TIME: We go to half time with the Bulldogs up by two.
The Bulldogs are leading possession 51/49%. The Dogs have completed 14/19, the Cowboys 14/21. The Bulldogs have made 158 tackles and missed 15, the Cowboys are 177/15. Plenty of metres made in this game, 783 for the Bulldogs and 726 for the Cowboys. 8-3 the offloads to the Bulldogs, while the Cowboys have made 7 errors to the Bulldogs 5.
41 min: Underway in the second half...the sun is out now.
43 min: An eventful period of play - Thurston chips, regathers, he offloads, gets the ball back, passes to Bowen who puts a bomb up that is taken by Utai who looks like taking off briefly.
45 min: TRY North Queensland Cowboys
The Bulldogs go right on attack, the pass to the winger from Sherwin is intercepted by Brenton Bowen and he goes 95 metres to score under the posts. He was a cert to score 80 metres out. Thurston converts.
46 min: CROWD: 16,231
54 min: Bulldogs lacking finesse at the moment and can't take advantage of good territory.
60 min: Matt Bowen somehow gets out of the in goal.
61 min: Both teams have already gone through a lot of interchanges, nine each. Sonny Bill on the sideline looking injured.
64 min: TRY Canterbury Bulldogs
Unbelieveable Bulldogs try. Grimaldi comes up with a terrible move on the last tackle from dummy half, he passes to Sherwin who puts up a horrible cross kick to El Masri, El Masri moves forward, offloads to Sherwin who dots down out wide. El Masri converts.
67 min: INJURY - Sonny Bill out for the rest of the match with a ligament strain to his knee.
67 min: Canterbury Bulldogs
The Bulldogs kick downfield, Bowen looks to be being forced in the in goal, he tries a wild offload that is picked up and passed to Grimaldi who scores. El Masri converts.
71 min: Cowboys caught in possession on the last tackle.
72 min: Mason tries a chip and chase, he kicks ahead a second time but the ball runs dead.
75 min: Matt Utai is penalised for a dangerous throw.
75 min: INJURY - Matt Bowen is carried from the field.
FULL TIME: And the Bulldogs do enough to get up over the Cowboys.
Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:
3 - Willie Mason
2 - Roy Asotasi
1 - Luke Patten