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Match Summary The Bulldogs have claimed a fightback 21-18 victory over the Eels in front of a bumper crowd of 18,285 at Parramatta Stadium this afternoon. The Eels led 16-12 at half time.
The Bulldogs opened the scoring in the seventh minute with a try to Hazem El Masri. The Eels struck back only five minutes later, with Brett Finch setting up Daniel Wagon to score under the posts.
The Eels took the lead only three minutes later, with Finch scoring his own try. A Luke Burt penalty goal 13 minutes before half time took the Eels out to a 14-6 lead, and another goal ten minutes later put the Eels up 16-6.
Astonishingly, the Bulldogs struck back as time expired in the first half, Trent Cutler pouncing on a desperation kick.
The Eels stretched their lead back to six points after the Bulldogs gave away a penalty for obstruction.
A Willie Mason try just short of an hour levelled the game up at 18-all.
In a frenetic final 10 minutes, the Eels had an opportunity to take the lead through a field goal, but poor play left Tim Smith in a poor position to make the attempt, and the cross field kick he elected to take led to an Eels knock on.
With six minutes to go, Daniel Holdsworth won the Bulldogs the game with a calmly slotted field goal. A Hazem El Masri penalty taken to soak up time near the end of the game gave the final score of 21-18.
Parramatta Eels 18 Tries: Daniel Wagon, Brett Finch Goals: Luke Burt (5/5) Canterbury Bulldogs 21 Tries: Hazem El Masri, Trent Cutler, Willie Mason Field Goals: Daniel Holdsworth (1/1) Goals: Hazem El Masri (4/4)
Live Commentary From Parramatta Stadium, the Eels host the Bulldogs.
Sonny Bill and Ben Roberts are out for the Bulldogs, Sherwin is in, as well as Hickey. The Eels are 1-17.
Both sides taking to the field now.
1st min: Underway at Parra Stadium, the Eels with first possession.
2nd min: Sherwin finds touch a metre out from the Eels line.
3rd min: A Luke Burt 40/20 attempt is off target and runs dead.
5th min: Maitua is put into a gap, he falls over as he gets to the fullback. The next play has Luke Burt somehow making it back into the field of play after a Sherwin kick.
7 min: TRY Canterbury Bulldogs Quick ball movement to the right sees Hazem El Masri dotting down in the corner, right in front of the best mascot ever, a giant sandwich. Conversion attempt by Hazem El Masri successful. Canterbury Bulldogs 6-0
9 min: Cutler drops the ball attempting to catch the restart, leading to a goal line drop out.
11th min: Wagon loses the ball, letting the Bulldogs off the hook.
13th min: TRY Parramatta Eels Finch takes on the line, he holds the ball up for Wagon who dots down under the posts. Conversion attempt by Luke Burt successful. 6 all
16th min: The Eels go on attack off the back of a penalty.
16th min: TRY Parramatta Eels Finch runs to the line, drags defenders and plants the ball down 10 in from the left hand touch. Conversion attempt by Luke Burt successful. Parramatta Eels 12-6
19th min: Tim Smith finds touch 5 metres out from the Bulldogs line.
24th min: Tim Smith runs across the field and loses ground when tackled by Maitua. One play later the Eels lose the ball just past halfway.
26th min: The Eels put up a bomb that is dropped by Cutler. The Bulldogs give away a penalty batting the ball dead from an offside position.
27th min: PENALTY GOAL Parramatta Eels Burt adds the penalty goal. Parramatta Eels 14-6
30th min: The Bulldogs put in a kick that is charged down by Finch, and he recovers the ball.
31st min: The Bulldogs are forced into another line dropout. However, the Eels are ruled offside and the Bulldogs receive a penalty.
37th min: PENALTY GOAL Parramatta Eels Luke Burt lands a 40 metre penalty goal. Parramatta Eels 16-6
40th min: VIDEO REF - For a Bulldogs try...
40th min: TRY Canterbury Bulldogs The Bulldogs kick ahead right on the siren, Cutler chases and scores out wide. Conversion attempt by Hazem El Masri successful off the posts. Parramatta Eels 16-12
We go to halftime, the Bulldogs will no doubt be overjoyed at only being down by 4 points at the break.
Teams on the field for the second half.
40th min: Back underway at Parra Stadium.
43rd min: Sherwin takes in intercept almost on his own line and runs the Bulldogs into an attacking position. Hickey loses the ball just in front of the posts.
46th min: PENALTY GOAL Parramatta Eels The Bulldogs give away a penalty right in front of the posts for obstruction. Burt puts the Eels out by six. Parramatta Eels 18-12
47th min: Rain beginning to fall at Parra Stadium.
48th min: O'Meley loses the ball on halfway.
49th min: Grothe breaks down the sideline, the Eels try to keep the ball alive but lose it 10 metres out from the try line.
52nd min: Some inadvisable offloading sees the Eels lose the ball short of halfway.
58th min: The Bulldogs go on attack off a penalty.
58th min: TRY Canterbury Bulldogs Mason crashes onto a short ball two metres out and lands next to the posts. Conversion attempt by Hazem El Masri successful. 18 all
64th min: VIDEO REF - For a Bulldogs try...
64th min: The Bulldogs are penalised for an obstruction.
70th min: CROWD - 18,285
72 min: Patten juggles a simple downfield kick and is trapped in goal.
73rd min: The Eels look for the cross kick instead of the field goal, the Eels come up with it but knock on keeping the ball alive. The Bulldogs get a penalty and are in great position.
74th min: FIELD GOAL Canterbury Bulldogs Holdsworth nails a field goal. Canterbury Bulldogs 19-18
76th min: Bulldogs give away a penalty when they had the Eels backed up on their goal line. The Eels now have a much better chance.
77th min: In field goal position, the Eels lose the ball because of a sloppy play the ball.
78th min: PENALTY GOAL Canterbury Bulldogs The Eels are penalised for offside. Time is oddly called off very quickly. El Masri has no trouble with the kick. Canterbury Bulldogs 21-18
80th min: The Bulldogs recover the short kickoff uncontested.
FULLTIME: And the Bulldogs claim a come from behind 21-18 win.