Time to look ahead to Sunday's decider! Rob Crosby has a full look at both teams and what to expect ...
31 hours ago
Wests Tigers 10 v Canterbury Bulldogs 32
at Telstra Stadium
Referee: Paul Simpkins
The Bulldogs have come away with a comfortable 32-10 win over the Wests Tigers at Telstra Stadium today, care of a very strong first half that saw them up 20-0 at the half time.
The Tigers looked promising early, but the Bulldogs scored first after six minutes when Tony Grimaldi put prop Jarrad Hickey over from close range for a 6-0 lead. The lead was doubled after 17 minutes when Andrew Ryan scored off a ball from Holdsworth, very similar to their first try. Luke Patten put the Bulldogs up 18-0 after 28 minutes when he bounced off defenders and sped away to score under the posts. The Tigers gave away a penalty for offside after one player fumbled a grubber kick that was cleaned up by another offside player. El Masri landed the simple penalty for the 20-0 half time lead.
The second half started much like the first with El Masri scoring for the Bulldogs just two minutes in. Canterbury completed their scoring after 50 minutes when a Scott Prince kick was charged down by Holdsworth. He recovered and offloaded the ball to Willie Tonga who dotted down next to the posts.
The Bulldogs lost their steam after winger Matt Utai was sent from the field after 55 minutes for a high tackle on Tigers hooker Stuart Flanagan after he had made a break. The send off was fully justified, as Utai was easily in position to make a safer tackle on Flanagan. The Tigers had two tries in a matter of minutes rubbed out by the video referee ? a Todd Payten try was turned down due to a Dean Collis knock on, and Jamaal Lolesi had a try denied for a double movement. The Tigers improved their defence for the last quarter of the match, as well as looking better in attack. They scored two consolation tries in the last 10 minutes - Taniela Tuiaki after Bulldogs centre Cameron Phelps fumbled a cross field bomb, and debutant Rangi Chase scored after a Payten and Tuiaki break.
Next week both teams will be boosted by the return of their Origin representatives, while the Bulldogs will certainly be missing Matt Utai and may also be missing Jarrad Hayne after he was placed on report for a first half high tackle. The Bulldogs host the in form Warriors at Telstra Stadium, while the Tigers travel to Toyota Park to play the Sharks.
Wests Tigers: 10
Tries: Taniela Tuiaki, Rangi Chase
Goals: Scott Prince 1/2
Canterbury Bulldogs: 32
Tries: Hazem El Masri, Luke Patten, Andrew Ryan, Willie Tonga, Jarrad Hickey
Goals: Hazem El Masri 6/6
Half time: Bulldogs 20-0
By the Clock:
From Telstra Stadium this afternoon we bring you the Wests Tigers vs the Canterbury Bulldogs. The Bulldogs defeated the Tigers 47-12 earlier this year.
For the Bulldogs, Hickey will start in place or Armit who drops to the bench. Rangi Chase is on the Tigers bench ahead of Sam Harris. Halatau also starting announced.
It's sunny at Telstra, both teams are on the field.
1 min: The Tigers get us underway!
2 min: INJURY - Todd Payten injured after an accidental elbow while attempting a tackle. Back up now and still on the field.
3 min: The Bulldogs are wrapped up on the last tackle five metres out.
4 min: NEWS The Tigers spin the ball wide, they make huge metres down the right side. Farah puts a grubber into the ingoal and the Tigers get a repeat set. They lose the ball a few tackles later.
6 min: TRY Canterbury Bulldogs
Bulldogs with a long bust downfield. A few plays later Grimaldi throws a ball to a rampaging Jarrad Hickey who scores next to the posts. El Masri converts.
9 min: Utai lets a bomb bounce, he takes it on the bounce and is forced back into the in goal. Again the Tigers make an error on the repeat set.
11 min: Lolesi penalised for a 'high' tackle and is then marched 10 metres for back chat.
12 min: The Tigers make a break down the left, but McDonnell is forced into touch.
14 min: Bulldogs forced into touch only a few metres out from the line. Both teams are making huge inroad on attack - we could see a lot of points today.
17 min: TRY Canterbury Bulldogs
Very similar to the Bulldogs first try, except it is Holdsworth supplying the ball the Andrew Ryan who crashes over Prince to score. El Masri converts.
20 min: Flanagan smashed in a big tackle by Utai.
23 min: HELD UP - Andrew Ryan is held up out wide.
25 min: El Masri takes a bomb five metres out, he comes extremely close to scoring on the last tackle.
28 min: VIDEO REF - For a Bulldogs try...
28 min: TRY Canterbury Bulldogs
Patten gets the ball on a second man play, he spins away from some tacklers, runs in space, fends off one tackler and scores under the posts. El Masri converts.
30 min: The Bulldogs are offloading at will and are making easy, easy metres.
32 min: PENALTY GOAL Canterbury Bulldogs
A grubber kick is knocked on and then cleaned up by an offside player for the Tigers. El Masri lands the easy penalty goal.
34 min: One of the Tigers trainers nearly gets bowled over.
34 min: The Bulldogs can claim a completion rate of 17/18 so far. The Tigers are 10/14.
36 min: REPORT - Hickey is on report for a high tackle.
38 min: Tigers looking poor when they get close to the Bulldogs line. Collis loses the ball early in the tackle count.
39 min: INJURY - Sherwin struggling with a leg injury
40 min: The Bulldogs hold out an enthusiastic attacking raid from the Tigers.
We go to half time with the Bulldogs firmly in control, 20-0. The Tigers have been very ordinary in the first half while the Bulldogs are on fire.
The Bulldogs are dominating possession 58% to 42%.
Completion rates: Bulldogs 22/23, Tigers 15/20
Tackles/missed: Tigers 163/24, Bulldogs 120/9
Offloads: 7-5 Bulldogs
Errors: 8-3 Tigers
40 min: Back underway at Telstra...
42 min: TRY Canterbury Bulldogs
The Bulldogs spread the ball wide and El Masri crosses out wide and then improves his position. He converts his own try.
44 min: The Sherwin injury is a corked calf muscle. He's on the field and looking fine now.
46 min: Scott Prince kicks out on the full on halfway.
49 min: Penalties are 6-all.
51 min: TRY Canterbury Bulldogs
Prince gets charged down by Holdsworth, he recovers and offloads to Tonga who runs 20 metres to score under the posts. El Masri converts, and this is going to be a long 28 minutes for the Tigers.
55 min: SEND OFF - Matt Utai is sent off for a high tackle on Flanagan after the hooker made a break.
57 min: INJURY - John Skandalis is down after a head clash.
58 min: The Bulldogs have an astonishing 28/29 completion rate.
58 min: VIDEO REF - for a Tigers try...
58 min: NO TRY - Tigers
A grubber kick gets put in, Collis reaches up and gets a touch on the ball that is ruled to be a knock on, and Payten touches the ball down.
60 min: VIDEO REF - for another Tigers try...
60 min: NO TRY - Tigers
Lolesi is pulled up for a double movement.
63 min: The Tigers are throwing everything they can at the Bulldogs but still can't get on the board.
69 min: El Masri grabs an intercept by is chased down by McDonnell only 10 out. The Tigers scramble well and hold the Bulldogs out.
73 min: VIDEO REF - for another Tigers try...
73 min: TRY Wests Tigers
The Tigers bomb across field, the ball is fumbled by Phelps and Tuiaki touches the ball down neatly. Prince hits the posts with the conversion.
75 min: TRY Wests Tigers
Payten makes a break out wide, he offloads to Tuaiki who goes to within metres of the line and then pops a pointless pass to Rangi Chase who scores out wide. Prince converts.
FULL TIME: The Bulldogs run out with a highly convincing 32-10 win over the Tigers.
Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:
3 - Sonny Bill Williams
2 - Andrew Ryan
1 - Hazem El Masri