The NSW Blues have been named for the first game of the 2017 #Origin series.
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A small crowd of 13, 772 in Wellington witnessed the resurgence of the Bulldogs of old to defeat the NZ Warriors by 24-18 keeping the Warriors without a win against them in Wellington.
Two quick tries to Jamaal Lolesi for the Bulldogs early in the game had the home side out to a 12-0 lead within eight minutes of the match. The score stayed the same until the halftime break with both sides guilty of the little errors that brings the attack to a halt.
A slight hint of a comeback early in the second half when Stacey Jones finally put the Warriors on the board. However it was short-lived as the Bulldogs stepped up a gear from the break and put the score out to an 18 point difference at 24-6.
A try to the Warriors had the crowd set up a Warriors chant. Another try to the NZ Warriors with four minutes to go had them within a converted try, but the clock was not to be on their side, try as they did.
The Bulldogs defence was solid and patient for the majority of the game, and it paid off in the end with them taking the 2 points in the NRL competition.
Westpac Stadium, Wellington Crowd: 13,772 Referee: Stephen Clark. Video Referee: Graeme West. Touch Judges: Matt Cecchin, Pat Reynolds
Scorers: BULLDOGS 24 Tries: Lolesi 2, Maitua, Mason Goals: El Masri 4/4 defeated WARRIORS 18 Tries: Jones, Lauaki, V Anderson Goals: Faumuina 3/3
By the clock:
0 min: Kick off in Wellington NZ, in front of a small but vocal crowd
3rd min: TRY - Lolesi for Bulldogs. A mistake from the kick off sets up the Bulldogs perfectly for their attack. 2nd set of six, Murphy comes in off his wing, Sherwin floats a perfect ball for Lolesi to score in the corner. El Masri from the sideline, nets the conversion straight down the middle. Bulldogs 6-0
7th min: TRY - Lolesi for Bulldogs. Lolesi gets a double early in the game. A mistake by Webb gives the Bulldogs another set of six in great field position. Running the numbers, Lolesi has no trouble scoring once again in the corner. El Masri's conversion hits the post and is over. Bulldogs 12-0
12th min: NEWS - The Bulldogs almost scoring again when Anasta's bomb goes straight up in the air 40 metres out. A toe through and a Bulldog player's in front of the kicker after it looked as though Anasta had scored. 91% possession to the Bulldogs so far in the game. They lead 12-0
18th min: NEWS - Warriors on attack, 3 penalties against the Bulldogs in a row, the ref wants a chat
25th min: NEWS - Signs of breaking play by the Warriors however great defence by the Bulldogs has stopped any scoring. Noticeably, the Warriors two big men replaced in the 14th min, the Bulldogs first interchange in the 22nd min. Bulldogs lead 12-0
33rd min: NEWS - Errors letting the Warriors down as they try to break through the solid Bulldogs defence on numerous ocassions. Bulldogs lead 12-0
HALFTIME: The Bulldogs unlucky to score in the last few minutes after picking up the pace. They hold their lead from early in the game, 12-0.
HALFTIME STATS: After the initial blast of points to the Bulldogs, the Warriors clawed their way back into the match with errors their main downfall.
The penalty count 8-1 in the Warriors favour. Completion rate 9/16 Bulldogs, 11/22 Warriors. Hitups Bulldogs 91, Warriors 76. Line breaks Bulldogs 2, Warriors 1. Tackles Bulldogs 125, Warriors 167. Missed tackles Bulldogs 12, Warriors 13. Errors Bulldogs 9, Warriors 12. Offloads 10 apiece
45th min: NEWS - Errors once again letting the Warriors players down. No change to the score, 12-0 to the Bulldogs
47th min: TRY - Jones for Warriors. Finally the hands stay safe. A kick to the sideline by Jones on the fifth is left to bounce. The Warriors flick it back, quick plays to get the ball to a flying Webb who passes to Jones to score the try under the posts. Faumuina adds the 2 points. Bulldogs 12-6
56th min: TRY - Maitua for Bulldogs. A line dropout gives the Bulldogs a good chance for attack. A solid set and soft tackles allows Maitua to score in the corner. El Masri has yet another conversion from the sideline, and doesn't miss. Bulldogs 18-6
60th min: NEWS - Anasta (Bulldogs) out of the match with a corked thigh
60th min: TRY - Mason for Bulldogs. Excellent inside passing from the Bulldogs is on the mark and the Warriors defence has no show of keeping up. Mason at speed is unstoppable. El Masri finally has an easy conversion. Bulldogs 24-6
67th min: TRY - Lauaki for Warriors. A break by Lauititi on the 60 metre mark stretched the Bulldogs defence. Lauaki in support is there to collect the 4 points. Faumuina 2 metres in from the sideline, also has his kicking boots on tonight, and adds the extra 2 points. Bulldogs 24-12
76th min: TRY - V Anderson for Warriors. A line dropout to the Warriors sets up the try for the Warriors. A bounced ball is well caught by Anderson who scores under the posts. Faumuina takes the quick conversion. Bulldogs 24-18
FULLTIME: The Bulldogs hold out the late charge by the Warriors to win 24-18
----------------------------------------- Leagueunlimited.com players of the match: 3 - L Patten (Bulldogs) 2 - W Mason (Bulldogs) 1 - S Price (Bulldogs)