Utai's Treble

Chunky Kiwis and Bulldogs wing Matt Utai recorded the first successive hat-tricks in the National Rugby League (NRL) for almost a decade when he scored three tries against Melbourne last weekend.

Utai, who scored a treble against South Sydney the previous weekend, became the first player since Canberra's Brett Mullins in 1994 to record hat-tricks in consecutive matches.

The haul of six tries has taken Utai to fourth equal on the 2003 tryscoring list with 15, three behind team-mate and fellow New Zealand international, centre Nigel Vagana.

Meanwhile, Bulldogs goalkicker Hazem El Masri needs just one more successful attempt against Manly on Sunday to set a new NRL record of 31 consecutive goals.

He shares the current mark with former Bulldogs and Kiwis wing Daryl Halligan, who landed 30 in a row in 2000.