TURBULENT TIGERS | Wests Tigers' 2016 season was... interesting.
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The Canterbury Bulldogs have had a very successful roadtrip to Perth, coming away with a 46-12 thrashing over the Melbourne Storm in front of just over 12,000 people at NIB Stadium.
The day didn't start too well for the Melbourne Storm with their captain Cameron Smith being ruled out after injuring his back during the warm up. Despite the injury, the match started off really well for the Storm with early tries coming their way through Billy Slater and Will Chambers to let the Storm open a 10-0 lead.
The opening quarter of the match was a far cry from the rest of the match with the Storm having total dominance of the match. It wasn't until the Bulldogs were able to get a string of consistent penalties that they began to apply some attacking pressure and it took some good skill from Trent Hodkinson to score the Bulldogs first of the night.
That try signalled the start of a fightback for the Dogs and after some poor play deep in their own half, Josh Morris took advantage of the pressure and scored to level the match & after Hodkinson's conversion the Dogs had the lead.
So despite leading 12-10 at the break, it took Melbourne just three minutes to level it up after Tohu Harris converted a penalty.
Just shy of the hour mark, Josh Jackson thought he had his second try of the match but the Video Referees after a lot of replays denied the try going with a No Try onfield decision from referee Ashley Klein. Despite that decision the Dogs still came away with possession and it was the next set when James Graham scored for the Dogs to open it out to an 18 point lead.
Next weekend both sides have tough clashes with, the Bulldogs taking on the defending premiers the Sydney Roosters at Allianz Stadium meanwhile the Melbourne Storm are back at the graveyard AAMI Park to take on the Gold Coast Titans next Sunday afternoon.
Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 40 Melbourne Storm 12
Venue: NIB Stadium
Halftime Score: Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 12 Melbourne Storm 10
LeagueUnlimited.com Players of the Match:
3 points - Josh Jackson
2 points - Josh Reynolds
1 point - Timoteo Lafai
CANTERBURY-BANKSTOWN BULLDOGS (40)
Tries: Trent Hodkinson, Josh Morris, David Klemmer, Josh Jackson, James Graham, Chase Stanley, Timoteo Lafai
Conversions: Trent Hodkinson (6/7)
LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary
PLAY UNDERWAY In the Wild West well more the Wet West
1: Opening set ends badly for the Bulldogs with the kick going dead
2: If you missed the news earlier - Storm captain Cameron Smith is OUT
3: James Graham looks like he's at a different place to the rest of his teammates, currently off the field under the Concussion rule
6: Corey Thompson drops the ball in his own ingoal off the high kick, but no damage done easily grounding the ball before the Storm could get there
9: UNSUCCESSFUL CONVERSION MELBOURNE STORM
Conversion attempt by Tohu Harris unsuccessful.
Tohu Harris misses the conversion - pretty sure not many people knew he had the goal kicking ability but he's Melbourne's first choice tonight
12: Melbourne making all the running in this one - making big metres in attack but then showing great pressure in defence
18: Well despite looking like he was in gaga land - James Graham has been cleared and is back on the field after his concussion test
19: PENALTY STORM - Opening penalty goes to the Storm after one of the Bulldogs players is penalised for a high tackle
20: PENALTY BULLDOGS - Melbourne Storm penalised for a strip
22: Another drop ball this time from Melbourne
23: PENALTY BULLDOGS - Ben Hampton is penalised for running a Bulldogs playing off the ball
24: PENALTY BULLDOGS - Another penalty to the Dogs
28: And in fact Sisa Waqa is place ON REPORT for the tackle
29: An average kick is put down by Will Chambers and the Bulldogs get another set inside the Storm's 10m zone
32: SUCCESSFUL CONVERSION CANTERBURY-BANKSTOWN BULLDOGS
Conversion attempt by Trent Hodkinson successful.
Well despite kicking into a strong wind and driving rain Trent Hodkinson converts it from the sideline
34: Bulldogs with the momentum at this stage, looking more dangerous in attack and stronger in defence
35: An unusually poor last tackle option sees Cooper Cronk send the ball dead and the Bulldogs get the 20m restart & zero tackle
37: PENALTY BULLDOGS - Storm penalised for a "crusher tackle" - Bulldogs now just 15m out from the Storm line
39: PENALTY BULLDOGS - The Storm penalised for being inside the 10m - Penalty count now 6-1 in favour of the Bulldogs
40: PENALTY STORM - Bulldogs cross but Ashley Klein calls it back for an obstruction
40: HALF TIME at NIB Stadium in a wet and windy Perth, Bulldogs take a 12-10 lead into the break
40: Just remember everyone that this isn't the only game on the card today at NIB Stadium - earlier this afternoon the Perth based West Coast Pirates took on the St George Dragons in a SG Ball cup match
40: Play back underway at the wet and windy NIB Stadium
42: James Graham has NOT returned to the field for the second half for the Bulldogs
55: An error from the Bulldogs and the Storm will get to attack from half way
56: Melbourne have a poor last tackle again - Tohu Harris is caught on the last about 5m out from the line
58: A bit of a blow up at the moment, referees happy to call the scrum to go ahead
59: Well some luck for the Bulldogs after the differential penalty
59: Video Referee's taking quite a few looks, replays suggest a try but...
59: Were looking at some more replays again.... replays getting a work out
59: Up to replay 58 and still no decision, now its into slow motion, remember NO TRY was onfield call of Ashley Klein
59: NO TRY is the ruling - Video referees admit that its likely there was no touch from Josh Jackson but as explained by VR, replays couldn't allow them to make a conclusive decision, Dogs have scrum anyway
64: TRY CANTERBURY-BANKSTOWN BULLDOGS
Scored by Chase Stanley. Kick to come.
Josh Reynolds showing some fantastic skill and puts a beautiful kick that goes straight into the arms of Chase Stanley who scores
66: SUCCESSFUL CONVERSION CANTERBURY-BANKSTOWN BULLDOGS
Conversion attempt by Trent Hodkinson successful.
Trent Hodkinson hits it sweetly from the sideline and converts the goal, to push the margin out to 24
68: Everything running in favour of the Dogs, good bounce back towards their chasers from nowhere but goes astray with a knock on
72: Storm go short on the dropout but knock on trying to clean it up & Dogs on attack inside the Storm 10m zone
74: An awkward and dangerous looking tackle is let go by the referees - replay suggests a penalty should've be coming for the storm
76: TRY CANTERBURY-BANKSTOWN BULLDOGS
Scored by Timoteo Lafai. Kick to come.
A big run from Tim Lafai sees him burst through some weak defence and the Bulldogs score again
79: PENALTY STORM - Two late penalties to the Storm give them a chance to post a consolation try
79: Or Not with another error from the Storm
80: FULL TIME at NIB Stadium & it was the Bulldogs winning 40-12