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Dogs season all but over after loss
Fulltime score: Round 22 Canterbury Bulldogs 13 v Newcastle Knights 28
The Newcastle Knights have belted the Bulldogs 28-13 at Telstra Stadium this evening.
The Knights were far superior in every aspect and the scoreline in the end flattered the Dogs and they are trying hard to offload the wooden spoon to either Souths or the Panthers but with the Bunnies enjoying the bye this weekend, the Panthers need to make light work of the Roosters tomorrow to stave off the dreaded timber trophy.
Back to the game though and the Dogs, with everything to play for have lost to one of the bottom sides for the second consecutive week and last week we were saying they can kiss the top four and home final goodbye, now we can almost say they can kiss the finals goodbye as they only have four matches remaining which means the top four is out of reach and they are at long odds to make the eight based on their performances over the past two weeks.
However, take nothing away from the Knights who are playing spoiler beautifully and are relishing the prospect of taking down as many finals contenders as they can before seasons end.
Andrew Johns was at his best and was well supported by veteran forward Craig Smith and NSW captain Danny Buderus. All three experienced players had stellar games and stuck it to the Dogs for the full eighty minutes.
Based on form, the Dogs don't deserve to be anywhere near the finals and their lacklustre performances show they are not respecting the opposition and they look like paying a heavy price for the lack of respect.
Bulldogs v Knights match photos: Click here to see the photo gallery for this game
Scorers: CANTERBURY BULLDOGS 13 Tries: Utai, Brideson Goals: Sherwin 1/1, Anasta 1/1 FG.
NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS 28 Tries: Carmont, Buderus, Quinn, Tighe Goals: Johns 5/6 Tighe 1/1
Venue: Telstra Stadium Referee: Russell Smith Half time: Bulldogs 7-6
Live commentary: 1st min: We are underway at Telstra Stadium this evening.
7th min: TRY - Knights. George Carmont opens the scoring for the Knights. Conversion unsuccessful. Knights 4-0.
14th min: No change in the score with both sides making a lot of mistakes early on.
20th min: The Dogs have had all the possession but failed to convert it into points. Knights 4-0.
23rd min: TRY - Bulldogs. Matt Utai gets the Dogs on the board. Conversion successful. Dogs 6-4.
30th min: Both sides starting to drop off tackles but it's still too early to cal this one although the Knights have bombed some golden opportunities to score.
35th min: PENALTY GOAL - Knights. Johns levels the scores five minutes out from half time. 6 all.
40th min: FIELD GOAL - Bulldogs. Braith Anasta slots a one pointer just before the break to give the Dogs a one point lead at half time.
41st min: We are underway in the second half. Can the Dogs get back in the winners list or will they continue their indifferent form against a Knights team with nothing to lose. The next forty minutes will tell us plenty about the Dogs finals chances.
47th min: No change in the score as we approach the 50th minute but the Knights are continuing to drop off tackles.
50th min: TRY - Knights. Danny Buderus gets over the stripe for the Knights and Johns converts to push the Knights lead to five points with half an hour left to play. Knights 12-7.
54th min: TRY - Knights. Anthony Quinn extends the Knights lead and time is running out for the Dogs. Conversion successful. Knights 18-7.
61st min: PENALTY GOAL - Knights. Johns pushes the Knights 13 points clear with under 20 minutes to play. Can the Knights hold on? Knights 20-7.
67th min: PENALTY GOAL - Knights. Johns adds a further two points and this may be the Bulldogs season over here and now. Knights 22-7.
69th min: TRY - Bulldogs. Adam Brideson scores with Anasta converting but is there enough time for the Dogs to get out of jail? Knights 22-13.
75th min: TRY - Knights. Brad Tighe puts the issue beyond doubt with a late try to virtually eliminate the Dogs from finals contention. Conversion successful. Knights 28-13.
FULL TIME: The Newcastle Knights have run out convincing winners over a very disappointing Bulldogs side who, for the second week in a row, had everything to play for against a side tipped to win the wooden spoon and again they have come up well short of what is expected of the defending premiers and a team looking to gain a place in the top eight. Newcastle are doing everything to offload the spoon and now the pressure is on the Panthers to beat the Roosters as Souths have the bye.
----------------------------------------- Leagueunlimited.com players of the match: 3 - A Johns (Knights) 2 - C Smith (Knights) 1 - D Buderus (Knights) -----------------------------------------