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Match summary: Wests Tigers' half back Scott Prince has potted a sensational field goal to claim a 37-36 victory over the Bulldogs at Telstra Stadium today.
Fans were treated to no less than 12 tries and a perfect kicking display from both goal kickers, the match not being decided until the final minute.
After what was a dismal start for Wests Tigers, both sides turned it on for the fans with some tremendous end-to-end football.
The Bulldogs were in charge early on, racing away to 12-0 lead after just eight minutes. After 23 minutes, it was 18-6 and Wests Tigers were struggling.
But in a trenendous comeback, the visitors put together some sparkling football to get within six points and at half time, the Bulldogs held a tenuous 18-12 lead.
The Tigers contunued to lay on the points and with 10 minutes to go, had posted five unanswered tries. At 36-18, the match looked to be won and lost.
Tries in the 71st, 74th and 78th minutes saw the match locked up again and at 36-all, it looked like we were going into extra time.
But then in a final twist, man-of-the-match Scott Prince put toe to ball, potting a field goal in the final minute, and winning the match for the Tigers.
Scorers: BULLDOGS 36 Tries: Anasta 2, Patten, Lolesi, Ryan, Sherwin Goals: El Masri 6/6 WESTS TIGERS 37 Tries: Prince 2, Hodgson, Fitzhenry, Harrison, Wilson Goals: Hodgson 6/6 Field Goal: Prince
Telstra Stadium. Crowd: 19,984 Referee: Paul Simpkins
By the clock: Fine weather at Telstra Stadium today and a healthy crowd. Players on the field and kick off soon....
0 min: Kick off!
5 min: TRY - Bulldogs. Luke Patten scores. Hazem El Masri conversion. Bulldogs 6-0
8 min: TRY - Bulldogs. Jamaal Lolesi scores out wide. El Masri conversion. Bulldogs 12-0
17 min: TRY - Tigers. Brett Hodgson scores. A wonderful pass from John Skandalis has put Hodgson through and Wests Tigers are on the board. Conversion Brett Hodgson. Bulldogs 12-6
20 min: NEWS - The Bulldogs on fire early. A terrible start for the Tigers who are unable to complete their sets. Adam Perry (Bulldogs) injured and coming from the field.
23 min: TRY - Bulldogs. Andrew Ryan scores. Another error from the Tigers and the Bulldogs take full advantage. Wide conversion from El Masri is a beauty. Bulldogs 18-6
30 min: NEWS - Still 18-6 to the Bulldogs. Possession starting to even up with the Tigers showing a bit more control.
39 min: TRY - Tigers Daniel Fitzhenry scores next to the posts. Conversion Hodgson. Bulldogs 18-12
HALF TIME: Bulldogs 18-12. The Wests Tigers coming back to make a match of it with forward John Skandalis being their best. The Bulldogs just too good in the early stages but unable to capitalise in the backend of the first half. Fullback Luke Patten and winger Matt Utai backing up well while Sonny Bill Williams is getting away his usual quantity of off-loads. Overall, a good repsonse from Wests Tigers after a woeful start and its anyone's match.
Second half underway...
44 min: TRY - Tigers Half back Scott Prince scores. Conversion Hodgson. 18-all
48 min: Video ref checking possible Bulldogs' try... NO TRY. Still 18-all.
55 min: TRY - Tigers. Bronson Harrison scores after video ref scrutiny. Tigers hit the front after a fantastic try, the ball passing through a number of hands. A phenomenal comeback and an upset is on the cards. Conversion Hodgson. Tigers 24-18
67 min: TRY - Tigers. John Wilson scores a stunning try after Prince sets up play again. Wide conversion from Hodgson is a ripper. Tigers 36-18
71 min: TRY - Bulldogs. Braith Anasta picks up and scores after some broken play. Conversion. El Masri. Tigers 36-24
73 min: NEWS - A great bust from Sonny Bill Williams sees the Bulldogs come within a whisker of scoring. This match isnt over yet.
74 min: TRY - Bulldogs. A tremendous pass from Anasta sees Brent Sherwin score. Conversion El Masri. Tigers 36-30
78 min: TRY - Bulldogs. Anasta scores a brilliant try 15m in from touch. El Masri conversion is successful and it brings the house down! 36-all
80 min: FIELD GOAL - Tigers. Scott Prince wins the game for the Tigers! What a game! Tigers 37-36
FULL TIME: More soon... just as soon this live updater gets his breath back... :)
An unbelievable finish after the Wests Tigers looked dead only to come back and look like winners. The Bulldogs then staged their own miraculous comeback and at 36-all, it looked like we were going into golden point time. Then in a final twist, Scott Prince delivered the match to the West Tigers with last gasp field goal. Plenty of heroes on both sides in a match where neither side deserved to lose. The best game of the year so far.
----------------------------------------- Leagueunlimited.com players of the match: 3 - S Prince (Wests Tigers) 2 - B Anasta (Bulldogs) 1 - S B Williams (Bulldogs) -----------------------------------------