St George Illawarra Dragons 16 v Canterbury Bulldogs 22
at OKI Jubilee Stadium, Kogarah
Referee: Steve Clark
The Canterbury Bulldogs have defeated the St George Illawarra Dragons 22-16 in an entertaining clash at OKI Jubilee Stadium in Sydney tonight.
The Dragons showed their intention to attack from the first minute where they came up with a chip kick in their own half that didn?t come off. After five minutes they opened the scoring with a long range try to Ben Creagh. Matt Cooper broke through some weak tackles and offloaded to a support player who found Creagh back on the inside instantly, and he raced 50 metres to score. In the ninth minute the Bulldogs lost winger Cameron Phelps for the evening with a shoulder injury. On the 19th minute Aaron Gorrell missed a penalty attempt from 30 metres out following a high tackle from Willie Mason. The Bulldogs opened the scoring only two minutes later with a try to Brent Sherwin, who raced through a gap to score under the posts. The try was awarded by the video referee, and had a small hint of obstruction in it. The Bulldogs took their lead to 10-4 five minutes before half time when Sonny Bill carried three defenders over the line to score out wide, and the score remained 10-4 at the break.
Only two minutes into the second half the Dragons tied the game up at 10-all with a great breakaway try to Mark Gasnier. When he looked all but wrapped up by the defence he stepped away from them all and scored near the posts. Seven minutes into the half Corey Payne was carried from the field after being on the wrong end of a Mark O?Meley hit up. In the 54th minute the Bulldogs hit the lead again, Asotasi breaking up the middle before offloading to Holdsworth who claimed the first of his two tries in the match. Three minutes after that, Sonny Bill and Reni Maitua were put on report for a dangerous throw that looked rather innocuous. The Dragons drew level again through Mark Gasnier when he took a cross field kick and dotted it down. The Bulldogs scored the decisive try 11 minutes out from fulltime when Holdsworth was on the end of a Sonny Bill offload. The Dragons never really threatened in the final 10 minutes, the Bulldogs defence causing them the same headaches that held them out for most of the match.
Next week the Dragons travel to Canberra, while the Bulldogs host the Roosters.
St George Illawarra Dragons: 16
Tries: Ben Creagh, Mark Gasnier(2)
Goals: Aaron Gorrell 2/4
Canterbury Bulldogs: 22
Tries: Brent Sherwin, Sonny Bill Williams, Daniel Holdsworth(2)
Goals: Hazem El Masri 3/4
Half time: Bulldogs 10-4
By the Clock:
Good evening from Oki Jubilee Stadium in Sydney for tonights blockbuster clash featuring the Dragons vs the Bulldogs. This match stands as a battle for 2nd place.
Last week both teams got the points, the Bulldogs winning the match of the season vs the Warriors 22-18 in extra time, coming back from trailing 16-0. The Dragons defeated Souths 38-28, and never put them away fully.
Adam Perry is in for the Bulldogs, Grimaldi injured his leg in training. Otherwise they are 1-17. The Dragons Sims in for Ryles.
It's raining again at Kogarah.
1 min: The Bulldogs kick off!
3 min: Interesting start from the Dragons, they open with a chip kick deep in their own half after 37 seconds. It doesn't come off but the Bulldogs knock on. Dragons then make solid inroads in attack after a penalty.
5 min: TRY St George Illawarra Dragons
Matt Cooper makes a bust inside his own half, passes inside to a support player who instantly passes to Creagh who races 40 metres to score. Gorrell just misses from out wide.
9 min: The Bulldogs spin the ball wide and catch retreating defence, but get wrapped up in the end.
9 min: INJURY - Cameron Phelps on the ground with a shoulder problem, and he gets interchanged, leading to an early introduction for Sonny Bill.
10 min: The Bulldogs come up with some very nice offloads and ball movement, and Maitua knocks on in a burst down the right side.
12 min: A very good kick from Sherwin is cleaned up by Morris to save a try, and concedes a drop out.
13 min: Sonny Bill knocks on attempting a pass as he goes over the sideline. Very poor completion rate for the Bulldogs so far, 2/6.
15 min: Head puts in a dreadful kick off the side of his boot, it nearly comes good for the Dragons but they knock on recovering it.
19 min: ATTEMPTED PENALTY GOAL St George Illawarra Dragons
Willie Mason is penalised for a high tackle. Gorrell misses the penaly from 32 out, right in front.
21 min: The Bulldogs get a penalty, 10 out and right in front. They take the tap.
21 min: VIDEO REF - For a Bulldogs try...
21 min: TRY Canterbury Bulldogs
Sherwins darts through a gap 10 out and scores under the posts. It looked like an obstruction from O'Meley. El Masri converts.
28 min: A LOT of errors so far, some that can be blamed on the conditions, some that can't.
30 min: Another error from Sonny Bull with the Bulldogs hot on attack. Fairly messy game so far.
32 min: Dragons get a scrum feed 10 out from the Bulldogs line after a Bulldogs error.
33 min: El Masri comes up with an important intercept on a 2 on 1 overlap situation.
35 min: TRY Canterbury Bulldogs
Off the back of a penalty the Bulldogs get the ball wide to Sonny Bill who carries three defenders over the line to score out wide. El Masri comes up with a rare miss.
40 min: ATTEMPTED FIELD GOAL St George Illawarra Dragons
Straight off a goal line drop out Hornby attempts a field goal that is low and wide left.
And we go to halftime at 10-4.
The match has been quite even in a half punctuated by errors. A lot of strong defence and big hits.
40 min: The second half begins.
42 min: TRY St George Illawarra Dragons
Gasnier gets put into a gap right up the middle, he speeds away and steps the last line of defence consisting of a bunch of Bulldogs players. Gorrell converts.
47 min: INJURY - Corey Payne is out cold after an O'Meley hitup, and is getting strechered off.
50 min: An Andrew Ryan kick picks up the Bulldogs a drop out.
51 min: Brett Morris makes a great defensive play coming down with a Bulldogs bomb.
52 min: The Dragons kicking game struggling, a charge down earlier and now Head kicks the ball right up the rear of a team mate.
54 min: TRY Canterbury Bulldogs
Asotasi breaks up the middle and offloads to Holdsworth who scores to the left of the posts. El Masri converts.
57 min: The Bulldogs totally dominating territory.
57 min: ON REPORT - Sonny Bill and Reni Maitua are penalised for a dangerous throw. The Bulldogs are really turning up their defence and they force an error.
61 min: The Dragons force a line drop out from a great kick.
62 min: TRY St George Illawarra Dragons
Head puts up a cross kick to Gasnier who juggles the ball and dots it down to the right of the posts. Gorrell converts.
66 min: El Masri is ruled to have not played at a pass on the last tackle that he appeared to knock into touch.
67 min: Head knocks the ball down going for an intercept.
69 min: TRY Canterbury Bulldogs
The Bulldogs spin the ball wide, Sonny Bill gets through several defenders and offloads to Holdsworth who scores out wide. El Masri converts.
71 min: Luke Bailey is heading up the tunnel.
75 min: Bailey returning to the field.
76 min: The Bulldogs make a break that gets saved by Millard.
77 min: Patten chases a nice Dragons kick and combines with El Masri to avoid going over the sideline.
79 min: A kick by Millard is cleaned up by Patten, the match could be all but over.
80 min: 40 seconds to go, last throw of the dice for the Dragons. The Dragons throw a forward pass and the Bulldogs win.
Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:
3 - Roy Asotasi
2 - Willie Mason
1 - Brent Sherwin