A battle at the Westpac Stadium in Wellington, in the wet, windy and cool conditions, and the Bulldogs won their home game against a tiring Warriors outfit by 18 - 12 in front of 21,900 diehard fans.
The Bulldogs had the Warriors defence tiring in the first half, but were unable to post the points. Handling errors were against the Warriors by 7-1 and it showed. Running from dummy half certainly was a feature of the Bulldogs play. Half time score being only 6-0 to the Bulldogs.
More expansive play by both sides in the second half, had the crowd on their feet on numerous occassions.
A fine performance by the Bulldogs side showing they are well on the road to coming back into the NRL competition.
Leagueunlimited players of the match:
3 - B Sherwin (Dogs) 2 - S Price (Dogs) 1 - B Webb (Warriors)
Scorers: BULLDOGS 18 Tries: Harris, Utai, Mason Goals: El Masri (3/6) defeat WARRIORS 12 Tries: Meli, Toopi Goals: Webb(2/3)
By the clock:
Marsh is out for the Warriors with a broken thumb, bringing in part time union convert Sharky Robinson for his 1st top grade league game. Wet and windy conditions in Wellington, the rain at the moment stopped. Anasta is back at stand off for the Bulldogs, Thurston on the bench.
5th min: NEWS - Solid start by both sides. As expected, a few dropped balls in the wet conditions
10th min: NEWS - No give by either side. A predicted even battle is looming
14th min: TRY - Harris for Bulldogs. Following a penalty on the 5th tackle, the Bulldogs get close to their line. A rampaging Mason does the first hit up, offloads to Harris who scores out wide, and gets his first try in the competition. El Masri, from the sideline, taking his time, misses. Bulldogs 4-0
20th min: NEWS - The Bulldogs have picked up the pace, making a lot more metres at ease
27th min: NEWS - Possession heavily in the Bulldogs favour since their try. 3 back to back sets of six, and Price unlucky to score, but a shepherd stopped the attack. Warriors look a little flat
30th min: PENALTY GOAL - El Masri for Bulldogs. Warriors markers not standing square and El Masri slots one from out in front, slightly to the left of the uprights. Bulldogs 6-0
33rd min: NEWS - Marteene (Bulldogs) down on the ground following an unorthodox tackle from Meli and Toopi, who lifted and carried him backwards. No penalty given, and play continues
40th min: PENALTY - Toopi (Warriors) penalised for taking too long in the tackle. El Masri from 20 metres in from touch, misses the kick. Bulldogs 6-0
HALF TIME: Continuous defence by the Warriors has held, but it may have an effect later in the match
42nd min: TRY - Meli for Warriors. Following a mistake by the Bulldogs at the kick off, Webb spreads it wide to a sprinting Toopi, who in turn gets it inside to Meli who was unstoppable. Webb with the kicking duties, gets the conversion. 6-6
46th min: PENALTY GOAL - Webb for Warriors. Hughes (Bulldogs) penalised for popping the ball out after the tackle was made. Webb, taking his time, from out in front, finally gets the ball over. Warriors 8-6
54th min: NEWS - Play has opened up in the second half. End to end stuff in slippery conditions, great to watch
58th min: TRY - Toopi for Warriors. Great set of six from a line dropout, starting with Palea'aesina's block busting run. Great go forward by the team, with Toopi taking 2 or 3 tacklers with him across the line. Webb, with his hardest kick of the night, 18 metres in from touch, misses the conversion. Warriors 12-6
67th min: NEWS - Possession once again going both ways, handling errors letting them down in the end
69th min: TRY - Utai for Bulldogs. Great passing by the Bulldogs team, numbers out wide. One on one and Utai was always going to score. El Masri, a tough kick from his favoured side, and the conversion is missed. Warriors 12-10
72nd min: TRY - Mason for Bulldogs. A bursting run by Norton from the kick off, and suddenly the Bulldogs are hot on attack. A penalty, and Mason goes through from the tap, unopposed. El Masri, from right in front, kicks the conversion. Bulldogs 16-12
75th min: PENALTY GOAL - El Masri for Bulldogs. Touch judge came in for a late charge on Anasta by Koopu. El Masri has no trouble slotting the kick. Bulldogs 18-12
79th min: NEWS - The Warriors trying hard to score but the defence is too strong, play centered down the Warriors end of the field
FULL TIME: A bit of push and shove to finsh a tough battle in Wellington.