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A try fest in Canberra today by both sides, with 16 tries in total, will see the Canberra Raiders finishing the 2008 season in 6th position, just ahead of the Dragons, and the Canterbury Bulldogs firmly at the bottom of the table with the 2008 Wooden Spoon.
Perfect conditions in Canberra saw some spectacular attacking play from the two sides. The Bulldogs opened the scoring early with a try in the 2nd minute, with the Raiders hitting back shortly after. The tit for tat scoring continued in the first half, both sides showing some brilliance on attack, and defence.
The halftime score of 16 all was a good indication of how the match had progressed.
In the second half of the game the momentum swung the way of the home side, and 6th spot in the competition was secured. Hat-tricks to Monaghan and Milne were a highlight for the Raiders as they look forward to the play-offs.
The Bulldogs certainly came to play in Canberra, and showed the potential within. Corey Hughes finished off the point scoring in the match with a conversion, a fitting end to his Bulldogs career.
Match Details Canberra Raiders 52 def Canterbury Bulldogs 34 Round 26 - Sunday September 7th, 2008 2:00pm Venue: Canberra Stadium Referee: Sean Hampstead Touch Judges: Daniel Eastwood, Jeff Younis Video Referee: Phil Cooley Crowd: 15,411 Halftime: Raiders 16 Bulldogs 16 Canberra Raiders 52 Tries: Joel Monaghan (3), David Milne (3), Terry Campese, Ryan Hinchcliffe, Neville Costigan Goals: Terry Campese (8/9) Canterbury Bulldogs 34 Tries: Heka Nanai (2), Hazem El Masri, Jamal Idris, Daniel Holdsworth, Corey Hughes, Tim Winitana Goals: Hazem El Masri (2/6), Corey Hughes (1/1) LeagueUnlimited.com Player of the Match 3 Points: Joel Monaghan (Raiders) 2 Points: Alan Tongue (Raiders) 1 Point: Terry Campese (Raiders)
Leagueunlimited.com Live Commentary
The Bulldogs set to do anything to avoid being wooden spooners. The Raiders playing for a 6th spot
1 min: Kick off by the Bulldogs and Tilse makes an error 10 metres out from the line
2 min: TRY Canterbury Bulldogs The Bulldogs have come to Canberra to play footy today. Great hands and a little dummy by El Masri who's over the line. Conversion attempt by Hazem El Masri unsuccessful. Canterbury Bulldogs 4-0
5 min: TRY Canberra Raiders A mistake by Utai gives possession to the Raiders. Finishing with a high kick by Campese, Monaghan outjumps Utai to score. Conversion attempt by Terry Campese successful. Canberra Raiders 6-4
8 min: GOAL LINE DROPOUT - BULLDOGS The kick off by the Bulldogs hits the crossbar and goes over the dead ball line.
9 min: TRY Canterbury Bulldogs Nice little grubber kick out wide by Roberts turns into a try with players scrambling for the ball and Nanai coming up with the goods. El Masri still 10 points away from the Johns record. Conversion attempt by Hazem El Masri unsuccessful. Canterbury Bulldogs 8-6
14 min: TRY Canterbury Bulldogs Back to back sets to the Bulldogs and they come up trumps. El Masri, with a great flick pass, allows Idris to dot the ball down. Conversion attempt by Hazem El Masri unsuccessful. Canterbury Bulldogs 12-6
20 min: Canberra starting to throw the ball around a bit more, with many sticking. Defence from both sides very good
23 min: TRY Canberra Raiders A penalty allowing the Raiders good attacking field position. Great attack and Campese flies over the line to score his 10th try of the season. Conversion attempt by Terry Campese successful. 12 all
28 min: TRY Canterbury Bulldogs A penalty, this time close to the Bulldogs line following a break by Roberts. Quick tap an Nanai is over out wide for his 2nd try in the match Conversion attempt by Hazem El Masri unsuccessful. Canterbury Bulldogs 16-12
33 min: The defence by the Bulldogs today is very good as in the attack by the Raiders. Today means a lot to both the sides and it's obvious.
37 min: TRY Canberra Raiders An intercept by Purtell on the Bulldogs line sees him sprinting 80 metres, Idris mows him down by a pass rolls forward and picked up by Milne who is rewarded with the try. Conversion attempt by Terry Campese unsuccessful. 16 all
HALFTIME: Both teams playing for different reasons but playing well both on defence and attack El Masri's surprising 0/4 kicks, the difference at this stage.
41 min: Monaghan gets the 2nd half underway.
42 min: TRY Canberra Raiders Monaghan once again outjumps the opposition after Campese puts up the high kick. A great start to the 2nd half Conversion attempt by Terry Campese successful. Canberra Raiders 22-16
44 min: The Bulldogs kick off this time hits the upright, another freakish kick.
48 min: TRY Canberra Raiders Soft defence by the Bulldogs close to the Raiders line allows the Raiders in for their third unanswered try. Conversion attempt by Terry Campese successful. Canberra Raiders 28-16
52 min: TRY Canberra Raiders The floodgates have well and truly opened for the Raiders in front of their home crowd. Monaghan again involved in the play. Conversion attempt by Terry Campese successful. Canberra Raiders 34-16
53 min: As the score stands, the Raiders now move into 6th position ahead of the Dragons.
55 min: Kelly cops an accidental knee in the back from Idris, the ref ruling no foul play as Kelly recovers.
56 min: GOAL LINE DROPOUT - RAIDERS. Kelly takes a great catch in goal. Utai fumbles the kick from under the posts.
58 min: TRY Canterbury Bulldogs A terrific break by Utai down the sideline is followed in support by Holdsworth who scores. Conversion attempt by Hazem El Masri successful. Canberra Raiders 34-22
63 min: TRY Canberra Raiders The Raiders are all over the Dogs at the moment, Monaghan breaks thru, as does Tongue and Milne is there to finish it off for his 2nd try today. Conversion attempt by Terry Campese successful. Canberra Raiders 40-22
65 min: TRY Canterbury Bulldogs Hughes, in his last match for the Bulldogs, scores under the posts as the Bulldogs try to claw back into the game. Conversion attempt by Hazem El Masri successful. Canberra Raiders 40-28
67 min: El Masri now just 6 points away from the record of Andrew Johns.
72 min: TRY Canberra Raiders Not to be outdone by Milne, Monaghan also scores a hat trick today as the Raiders put the proverbial nail in the Bulldogs coffin. Conversion attempt by Terry Campese successful. Canberra Raiders 52-28
75 min: Campese, stretching for a high ball seems to have injured his hamstring but is still on the field.
77 min: TRY Canterbury Bulldogs The Bulldogs finish the game with the try and Hughes kicks the conversion with a smile. Conversion attempt by Corey Hughes successful. Canberra Raiders 52-34
FULLTIME: The Raiders finish 6th in the competition ahead of the Dragons, and the Bulldogs get the spoon.