The NSW Blues have been named for the first game of the 2017 #Origin series.
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The Bulldogs put their bite against a strong Broncos side in a close match at a sunny Telstra Stadium today, running out eventual winners by 25 to 18.
The Bulldogs started the match in convincing fashion to lead by 12 to nil after 28 minutes. But Broncos bucked back just before the break after Tonie Carroll collected from a Brett Seymour bomb. At half time the Bulldogs were in front 12-6.
The news at the start of the second half wasn?t good for Broncos fans as Darren Lockyer walked off the field with what appeared to be a major rib injury.
But the Broncos wouldn?t lie down; Gorden Tallis had a hand in two of the tries to lead the match 18-12 with 20 minutes to go.
The Bulldogs looked to be in trouble but an Andrew Ryan try made it 18 all with 10 minutes to go, injuring himself in the process.
From there on the Bulldogs never looked like losing it as they planted themselves down the Broncos end. Despite missing two dropped goal attempts, Brent Sherwin eventually nailed one from 20-30 metres out.
The Broncos continually made mistakes when they had the ball as Willie Mason sealed the win by crossing over in the dying minutes.
The Bulldogs now move clear to the top of the table with the Broncos still hovering in the Top four.
BULLDOGS 25 Tries: O'Meley,Perry,Ryan,Mason Goals: El Masri 4/4 Field Goals: Sherwin defeated BRONCOS 18 Tries: Carroll,Parker,Tallis Goals: DeVere 3/3
Telstra Stadium Referee: Tim Mander Video Referee: Stephen Clark. Touch Judges: Steve Carrall, Steve Lyons
By the clock: It's a fine day in Sydney for this big clash between the Bulldogs and Broncos. Both sides are as per program.
0 min: Bulldogs kick off.
2 min: NEWS - Clever play by Shaun Berrigan as he strips the ball from a Bulldogs player 10 metres from the line.
10 min: NEWS - Good work from the Bulldogs following a strong Matt Utai run gives them another set of six.
11 min: NEWS - Good run from Karmichael Hunt following a Bulldogs grubber. Both sides are looking flat on attack.
13 min: TRY - Bulldogs. Following a penalty for a two on one strip, Mark O'Meley receives flat pass from Brent Sherwin. He has too much momentum as he powers his way over. El Masri converts. 6-0 Bulldogs
19 min: NEWS - A strong tackle from O'Meley forces Shane Webcke to drop the ball down the Bulldogs end of the field. Darren Lockyer appears to be struggling with a shoulder injury.
21 min: NEWS - A grubber kick from Darren Lockyer goes dead. Karmichael Hunt appeals that he was taken out. Brent Sherwin kicks a 40/20 the next play.
25 min: NEWS - A good set of six from the Broncos comes to a waste as the Bulldogs field a Darren Lockyer grubber.
28 min: TRY - Bulldogs. A sloppy pass from Steve Price after falling on the ground but not being held finds Adam Perry who burrows his way to the tryline. El Masri converts.12-0 Bulldogs.
29 min: NEWS - Darren Lockyer comes off the field with what appears to be a injury possibly to his ribs.
32 min: NEWS - After 3 sets of six down the Bulldogs end, Brent Sherwin intercepts a Broncos pass.
35 min: TRY - Broncos. 15 metres out from the Bulldogs line Brett Seymour puts up a bomb to the right side of the field. Michael DeVere catches it and passes it to Tonie Carroll who scores in the corner. Michael DeVere converts. 12-6 Bulldogs
38 min: NEWS - Karmichael Hunt catches a big bomb with Braith Anasta chasing after it. He then beats several defenders to run roughly 30 metres.
HALFTIME: 12-6 Bulldogs. HALFTIME STATS: Bulldogs - 151 tackles, Broncos - 146 tackles Penalties - Bulldogs 1, Broncos 3 Line Breaks - Bulldogs 2, Broncos 1 Completions - Bulldogs 15/20 (75%), Broncos 12/20 (60%)
40 min: Broncos kick off to start the second half.
42 min: NEWS - The news is not so great if your a Broncos fan. Darren Lockyer will be out for this match and possibly longer with a rib injury.
43 min: NEWS - A Brent Sherwin bomb is caught by Craig Frawley.
46 min: NEWS - Barry Berrigan trys to throw a pass to Gorden Tallis near the Bulldogs line. He's ruled to have dropped the ball.
50 min: TRY - Broncos. Gorden Tallis puts in a grubber kick near the line. Corey Parker gets it. He's tackled but rolls over to plant the ball on the line. DeVere converts. 12 all
53 min: NEWS - Shane Webcke runs the ball,he passes it but is intercepted by Bulldogs winger Matt Utai. Matt Utai runs over 30 to 40 metres then passes it but is intercepted in turn by a Broncos player.
56 min: TRY - Broncos. Gorden Tallis receives a flat pass. He then runs sideways before shrugging off several Bulldogs players to score a great solo try. DeVere converts. 18-12 Broncos.
57 min: NEWS - The Bulldogs kicks the ball out from the kickoff.
58 min: NEWS - On the last tackle Brett Seymour puts up a wayward bomb. It's caught by a fellow Broncos player then passed back to Seymour who puts up another bomb to the left side of the field. It's caught by a Bulldogs player.
64 min: NEWS - Karmichael Hunt catches another Brent Sherwin bomb with a huge amount of pressure on him.
65 min: NEWS - The Bulldogs tactics are baffling. Their two trys have come from passes through the middle of the field yet they're going from sideline to sideline and getting no results.
67 min: NEWS - Broncos get another set of six after throwing Luke Patten over the sideline.
68 min: NEWS - From the drop out, Gorden Tallis loses the ball over the sideline.
70 min: TRY - Bulldogs. From dummy-half Andrew Ryan pick ups the ball and beats two men and carrying another two to plant the ball on the line. El Masri converts. It's all equal at 18 all.
70 min: NEWS - Andrew Ryan after the try comes off the field with what looks like a bout of concussion.
73 min: NEWS - From 45 metres out Braith Anasta attempts a drop goal - it goes wide.
75 min: NEWS - Brent Sherwin attempts a field goal - it goes well wide.
76 min: FIELD GOAL - Bulldogs. Brent Sherwin nails a drop goal from 25-30 metres out. 19-18 Bulldogs.
78 min: NEWS - Anasta puts up a bomb. It's caught by a Broncos player.
79 min: NEWS - It appears as though a Broncos player had the ball stripped from his hands. It was ruled to have been knocked on.
80 min: TRY - Bulldogs. Brent Sherwin passes it out to Willie Mason who shrugs off a player to score. El Masri converts it to win the game.
FULLTIME: 25-18 Bulldogs. FULLTIME STATS: Bulldogs - 299 tackles, Broncos - 290 tackles Penalties - Bulldogs 2, Broncos 6 Line Breaks - Bulldogs 4, Broncos 2 Completions - Bulldogs 35/44 (87%), Broncos 26/41 (63%) ----------------------------------------- Leagueunlimited.com players of the match: 3 - G Tallis (Broncos) 2 - M O'Meley (Bulldogs) 1 - A Ryan (Bulldogs) -----------------------------------------