Today Sam Bourke takes a look at the optimism in the water out Bondi way, as the Sydney Roosters loo...
21 hours ago
The Bulldogs have started 2009 in style with the upset of the opening round, comprehensively demolishing defending premiers Manly Sea Eagles 34 points to 12.
It was the first time the Bulldogs have started the season with a win since 2005, and for those involved it will be one to remember.
Hazem El Masri will remember this game as the one in which he broke Andrew Johns' record and became the all time highest pointscorer in Australian rugby league history.
Kevin Moore will remember this game as his very first as coach of the Bulldogs, in which he steered his chargers to a memorable defeat of the defending premiers.
Finally, the entire playing squad will remember this game as the game in which they gained back the respect of the league community and of their fans after their embarrassing season last year which saw them collect the dreaded wooden spoon.
The Bulldogs were in charge of this match from the get-go, defying the poor conditions by chancing their arm and throwing the ball around, something that Manly seemed hesitant to do.
Monster centre Jamal Idris got the scoring started in the sixth minute, with a bullocking run for the line that left three Sea Eagles in his wake.
Idris was in again in the 27th following a great offload from Chris Armit, and Manly started to show their frustrations, with a steady flow of penalties going against them.
Ballin found himself in the bin, and the resulting penalty earnt El Masri his shot at history, which he duly took.
The Dogs went into half time leading 22 points to nil following a length of the field effort resulting in a try to Bryson Goodwin, and it looked a long way back for the defending premiers.
Manly came out of the sheds full of venom, and posted their first points soon after the break through a quick dart out of dummy half from Ballin.
Any thought of a comeback was dashed, however, after the Dogs scored two length of the field tries in five minutes, with Josh Morris doing it all himself for his first in the blue and white, and a great team effort giving Goodwin his second.
A last minute try to Jamie Lyon was little consolation to the defending premiers, who will hopefully spend the night reflecting on where they can improve, rather than drowning their sorrows.
TEAMS BULLDOGS: 1. Luke Patten 2. Hazem El Masri 3. Josh Morris 4. Jamal Idris 5. Bryson Goodwin 6. Ben Roberts 7. Brett Kimmorley 8. Ben Hannant 9. Mick Ennis 10. Michael Hodgson 11. Gary Warburton 12. Andrew Ryan 13. David Stagg Interchange: 14. Lee Te Maari 15. Chris Armit 16. John Kite 17. Ben Barba SEA EAGLES: 2. Michael Robertson 19. Michael Bani 3. Jamie Lyon 4. Steve Matai 5. Andrew Suniula 6. Chris Bailey 7. Matt Orford (c) 8. Brent Kite 9. Matt Ballin 15. Jason King 11. Anthony Watmough 12. Glenn Hall 13. Glenn Stewart Interchange: 14. Heath L