It was never a promising season for the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs.
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Poor goal kicking nearly cost the Parramatta Eels in their round 14 match against Newcastle.
The Eels opened the scoring through fullback Michael Basan, after lock forward Luke O'Dwyer cut the Newcastle defence to shreds. The unsuccessful conversion had the Eels leading by 4-0. In the 18th minute, winger Joel Reddy extended Parramatta's lead to 8-0 even tho there was some doubt over the onside from the kick. In the 22nd minute, Knights lock Todd Maddison opened the home sides account. The conversion attempt from Maddison was successful and Newcastle trailed 8-6. With 14 minutes remaining in the first half, Parramatta once again extended their lead. This time it was through centre Brett Delaney who scored out wide. Delaney's successful conversion has the Eels in front 14-6.
The final scoring of the first half was a try to Newcastle utility Daniel Spiteri. After a quick play-the-ball, Spiteri scooped up the ball one handed from dummy-half. Then he threw a dummy which was fallen for by the defence and scored beside the posts with hardly a hand laid on him. The successful conversion from Maddison had the Knights going to the break trailing 12-14.
As was the case in the first half, Parramatta opened the scoring in the second half. Winger John Williams scored out wide and the Eels led by 18-12. In the blinking of an eye, Parramatta were in for their second try in as many minutes. Joel Reddy scored his second try of the game, touching down centimetres inside the eastern touchline. Once again the unsuccessful conversion had the Eels up by 10. At around the 55 minute mark, Parramatta hooker Drew Dalton scored his teams 6th try of the match as he crossed 20 metres in from the western touchline. Delaney pushed the conversion to the right of the posts and Parramatta led 26-12.
Newcastle had to be the next to score or the scoreline was going to blow out. Knights second rower, playing on the wing, Nathan McLoughlin did exactly that and with the successful conversion the Knights trailed 26-18. The Knights then came storming back into the match a few minutes later when Todd Maddison scored his second try. The subsequent conversion had Parramatta looking a little shaky at 26-24.
With 10 minutes remaining, Eels back-rower Luke O'Dwyer made a break. Despite Knights five-eight Scott Dureau's best efforts, which were just not quite good enough, O'Dwyer scored beside the posts to have his side up by 6. The unsuccessful conversion - the sixth out of seven attempts - left the score at 30-24 to Parramatta. The Eels then moved the ball into field-goal range. With 5 minutes left on the clock and halfback Marcus Perenara, with all the time in the world, potted the 25 metre field goal. This made the final score of Parramatta 31 defeated Newcastle 24.
Parramatta retained their position on top of the table with this win being their 11th of the year. Newcastle, although losing, remain in the top 8.
Parramatta fullback Michael Basan was very strong for the Eels. His support play, positioning from kicks was all top notch. He also finished with a try.