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A much anticipated top of the table clash turned into a one sided affair at Aussie Stadium tonight when the Roosters demolished the Bulldogs by 35-0.
A huge crowd ( 26,465 ) of Roosters and Bulldogs supporters created an amazing atmosphere for both sides and they responded with a furious pace set from the first touch of the ball. Three minutes into the match, the Roosters came up with a try to Chris Walker and never looked back.
Try as they may, the Bulldogs couldn't break through the solid Roosters defence. Two more first half tries, both to Anthony Minichiello and the Roosters went into the half time break with a comfortable lead of 18-0.
Chris Walker for the Roosters decided to start the second half the way he did the first, with a try. And so it continued from there.
The Roosters looked classy on attack, and determined on defence showing they will be a force to be reckoned with for the remainder of 2004.
The Bulldogs did not lie down, however they just couldn't break through the rock solid Roosters defence to score any points at all in the match. Although remaining scorless in the match, there were glimpses of individual brilliance and they should be encouraged by this. Their misfortune tonight was to come up against a side that was right in tune.
Scorers: ROOSTERS 35 Tries: Walker 2, Minichiello 2, Flannery, Hodges Goals: Fitzgibbon 4/5, Walker 1/1, Fittler 1/1 defeated BULLDOGS 0
By the clock: A top of the table clash to start the ball rolling in Round 3
0 min: Kick off!
3rd min: TRY - Roosters. A mistake early in the first tackle count by the Bulldogs, hands possession to the Roosters 20 metres out from their line. A penalty and another set of six, and Chris Walker busts through the defence to score. Fitzgibbon adds the extra twp points. Roosters 6-0
8th min: NEWS - Both teams putting everything into the match, a lot of passion out on the field. The Bulldogs with ball in hand look dangerous
15th min: NEWS - After a fast and furious pace at the start of the match, both teams are guilty of unforced errors and bad discipline resulting in penalties
16th min: TRY - Roosters. A mistake by both sides close to the Roosters tryline, and the Roosters end up with great field position, and the ball. The Bulldogs defence was stretched and no answers for a flying Minichiello. Fitzgibbon adds an easy 2 points. Roosters 12-0
20th min: TRY - Roosters. Quality football on show as the Roosters, close to their line, use simple inside passes through 3 or 4 players and Minichiello cuts inside to score. Classic stuff. Fitzgibbon has no trouble with the conversion. Roosters 18-0
24th min: NEWS - Price (Bulldogs) off the field with a corked thigh
29th min: NEWS - Confidence is high in the Roosters side, Minichiello under the high ball is outstanding. Utai (Bulldogs) getting a little frustrated
30th min: NO TRY - Roosters. Once again the Roosters are hot on attack. Fittler chips through a kick for Fitzgibbon early in the tackle count, unfortunately Fitzgibbon can't quite get his hands on the ball. Roosters 18-0
35th min: NEWS - The Bulldogs finally have a real chance of scoring but the Roosters defence is strong and the Bulldogs attack going backwards more than forward
37th min: NEWS - Unbelievable passage of play, with the Bulldogs in possession. Willie Mason puts up a huge punt, the ball is batted from side to side and finally knocked forward by a Bulldog player. Everyone seemingly stops and look at the ref, who calmly says play on! Roosters hold the lead still 18-0
HALF TIME: The Bulldogs finish the half with very nearly scoring an end to end try, but unfortunately for them, not quite getting there yet again. The Roosters defence as solid as ever and lead 18-0
HALF TIME STATS: The Bulldogs have missed 17 tackles to the Roosters 8. Penalties even 6-5 to the Roosters. Completed sets : Roosters 11/21, Bulldogs 18/25. Offloads: Roosters 8, Bulldogs 14. Errors: Roosters 11, Bulldogs 8. And tackles made: Roosters 150, Bulldogs 142
41st min: Second half underway
43rd min: TRY - Roosters. From broken play that saw the Roosters drop the ball backwards and regather, Webb makes great yards up the field, passes to Walker who's in for his second try. Fitzgibbon converts. Roosters 24-0
46th min: NEWS - Finch (Roosters) quickly to the sideline after being injured while making a tackle on Mason. Price (Bulldogs) remains out of the game
50th min: NEWS - Finch has resumed play. The Bulldogs certainly haven't given up. Mason has been making yards, however the Roosters defence is spot on so far in the match. Roosters lead 24-0
55th min: NO TRY - Bulldogs. It looked as though a brilliant solo effort by Thurston had managed to get Utai over to score. Unfortunately, the ball had been deemed to be knocked on by Williams following a throw by Thurston. The score remains 24-0 to the Roosters
58th min: DROP GOAL - Calm and collected, Fittler pots over a goal from 20 metres out, just to mix it up a bit. Roosters 25-0
60th min: NEWS - The Bulldogs hot on attack yet again, only to have Fittler knock down a kick to break away with Morley as support. Between the 2 of them, they'd made an 80 metre break, only to have a knock on break down their momentum
65th min: TRY - Roosters. Cussack from halfway makes a break from the Bulldogs defence. Great support play by 3 Roosters players, with Flannery flying in to score. Another conversion, this rime to Walker. Roosters 31-0
67th min: NEWS - Play held up as Bulldogs fans are throwing missiles onto the field behind the Bulldogs tryline. A scrum to the Bulldogs close to their line as Finch knock on from the kick off. The Roosters break away following a Bulldogs mistake
71st min: NEWS - Minichiello (Roosters) scoops up a low ball close to the Bulldogs tryline, and sprints down the sideline with only the Bulldogs fullback to beat. Patten does brilliantly to stop a sure try. Roosters stay at 31-0
76th min: TRY - Roosters. The attack is relentless against a tired Bulldogs team. Another set of quick plays with an excellent floating out wide to Hodges and he manages to just dot down the ball before touching the corner post. The video ref confirms this. Fitzgibbon with his hardest kick of the night, misses his 1st. Roosters 35-0
FULLTIME: The scoreline says one team in it, but the Bulldogs never gave in to a top notch Roosters side. A win to the Roosters by 35-0 ----------------------------------------- Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:
3 - A Minichiello (Roosters) 2 - A Morley (Roosters) 1 - J Thurston (Bulldogs) ------------------------------------------