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Round 23 Parramatta Eels 56 vs Canterbury Bulldogs 4
Match summary: The Parramatta Eels have handed the Bulldogs their worst loss in the competition since 1935, and the Eels biggest win over the Bulldogs as the reigning Premiers were flogged 56-4 by an unstoppable Eels side. The Eels led 26-0 at half time.
The Bulldogs night started badly as they gave up an early try to Nathan Hindmarsh as he latched onto a Tim Smith kick. The Dogs night didn't improve as Tahu collected his first in the 18th minute. Some well timed passes saw Eric Grothe Jnr score in the 27th minute. The floodgates opened up as Tahu collected his second in the 31st minute and Grothe in the 36th minute for a 26-0 half time lead.
The tries kept coming thick and fast in the second half with Burt and Widders combining to eradicate and chance of a comeback as Burt broke down the sideline and kicked to the centre, and Widders scored from that kick. Widders then created the next try, to Eels and Kiwis captain Nathan Cayless as Widders ran a great line up the middle and got the ball to Cayless for a try. There were then no tries for 13 minutes, before debutant Joel Reddy broke up the middle and scored. In the 71st minute, Fui Fui Moi Moi crashed through the line out wide and got the ball to Tahu who picked up a hat trick.
The Bulldogs at least managed to trouble the scorers with a try to Cameron Phelps late in the game, before Mark Riddell scored in the last minute with a tidy 40 metre run, finished off with some average break dancing.
Luke Burt kicked 8 goals from 10 attempts, while Braith Anasta missed his only shot at goal.
Parramatta's dominance was reflected statistically, with the Eels making over 1500 metres, while the Bulldogs were held to only 909 metres. The Eels completed 34 sets while the Bulldogs had 34 sets overall. There wasn't a huge difference in the number of tackles made, but the Eels missed only 20 tackles to the Bulldogs massive 48.
The Bulldogs were terrible, but they weren't 52 points worse than the Eels. The white flag was well established up the flag pole after half an hour.
Eels v Bulldogs match photos: Click here to see the photo gallery for this game
Scorers: PARRAMATTA EELS 56 Tries: Tahu 3, Grothe 2, Hindmarsh, Widders, Cayless, Reddy, Riddell Goals: Burt (8/10) CANTERBURY BULLDOGS 4 Tries: Phelps Goals: Anasta (0/1)
Live commentary: 0 min: Kickoff at a sold out Parramatta Stadium!
1 min: The Bulldogs lose the ball on the second tackle of the game giving Parramatta good early field position.
2 min: TRY - Eels Tim Smith puts in a grubber that sees Hindmarsh pounce on the ball just before it went dead. Burt misses the kick. Eels 4-0.
11 min: NO TRY - Bulldogs Phelps goes up and catches a kick to the in goal, but loses the ball attempting to plant it.
14 min: Riddell takes a great catch 5 out from his own line and goes on a great 50 metre run.
15 min: NO TRY - Eels The Eels are called back for a forward pass.
18 min: TRY - Eels Smith switches play left and the ball gets to Tahu who scores a try. Burt converts. Eels 10-0.
27 min: TRY - Eels The Eels time passes to the right very well and Grothe scores out wide. Burt converts. Eels 16-0.
31 min: TRY - Eels Again the Bulldogs are found wanting out wide as Tahu scores his second, untouched. Burt hits the posts. Eels 20-0.
36 min: TRY - Eels A great ball to Grothe sees him run 50 metres to score. Burt coverts from touch. Eels 26-0.
HALF TIME: The Eels have totally dominated the Bulldogs and lead 26-0 at half time.
40 min: The second half kicks off, can the Bulldogs have a whimper in this game?
43 min: TRY - Eels Great hands gives Burt space out wide, he centre kicks and Widders smashed Morris out of the way and scores a try. Burt converts. 32-0 Eels.
49 min: TRY - Eels Widders runs a great line up the middle, draws the fullback and finds Nathan Cayless who runs 30 metres to score. Burt converts. Eels 38-0.
55 min: The Dogs attack for several minutes but can't come up with points. The Eels get the ball back and instantly break the line.
60 min: The Bulldogs are getting frustrated and get a penalty. They lose the ball on the first tackle from the penalty.
62 min: TRY - Eels On debut, Reddy busts the line and scores a try by the uprights. Burt converts. Eels 44-0.
67 min: CROWD - 20,281
71 min: TRY - Eels Fui Fui goes down the sideline and gets the ball back inside to Tahu for a hat trick. Burt converts. 50-0 Eels.
77 min: TRY - Bulldogs The Bulldogs run the ball on the last tackle and Phelps scores out wide. Anasta misses the kick. Eels 50-4.
80 min: TRY - Eels Riddell goes through the line from 40 metres out and scores. He celebrates with some break dancing. Burt converts. Eels 56-4.
FULL TIME: The Eels have totally handed a flogging to the Bulldogs. The Dogs worst loss since their first year in the competition.
----------------------------------------- Leagueunlimited.com players of the match: 3 - T Tahu (Eels) 2 - N Cayless (Eels) 1 - E Grothe (Eels) -----------------------------------------