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Wests Tigers have scored a late try to upset the Canterbury Bulldogs 30-26 in Gosford tonight.
The Bulldogs ran out early leaders with two tries and looked set to run away with the match. But the Tigers struck back with two tries late in the first half and at the break, it was 12-all.
The Bulldogs were first to score in the second half as they attempted to graft out a win. But a gutsy comeback from the Tigers saw them match the Bulldogs before they hit lead for first time in the 69th minute.
BULLDOGS 26 Tries: Tonga 2, Harris, Anasta Goals: El Masri 5/5 defeated by WESTS TIGERS 30 Tries: Moodie, Hodgson, Kerr, Halatau, Elford Goals: Hodgson 5/5
Express Advocate Stadium Referee: Tony Archer
By the clock: 0 min: Kickoff!
2 min: NO TRY - Tigers denied after an interference call and offside following an up-and-under.
8 min: TRY - Bulldogs. Ben Harris brushes off some poor defence to score. Follows a Bulldogs movement from 40m out. Conversion almost in front from Hazem El Masri is successful. Bulldogs 6-0
17 min: TRY - Tigers. Jason Moodie scores following a backline movement from 40m out. Good reply from the Tigers. Brett Hodgson converts from in front and kicks the ball out of the ground and onto the roadside. Bulldogs 12-6
37 min: TRY - Tigers. Brett Hodgson dives over after making the earlier bust. Converts his own try and the Tigers are back in the match. Bulldogs 18-12
39 min: TRY - Tigers. Keiran Kerr scores under the sticks after the Bulldogs open up from half way. Conversion Hodgson. 18-all
HALF TIME: A late comeback from the Wests Tigers has thrown the game wide open when earlier, it looked like the Bulldogs were heading for an easy win.
The stats favour the Bulldogs but the game is far from over. Tackles: Tigers 143-122 Mistackles: Bulldogs 15-14 Errors: Tigers 7-3 Completions: Bulldogs 18-12 Sets: Bulldogs 21-19 Possession: Bulldogs 52%
Second half underway...
43 min: TRY - Bulldogs. Braith Anasta scores 10m wide of the posts. Messy lead up which included a strange call from the ref where the Bulldogs appeared to lose possession after being tackled. But it was play on and the Bulldogs draw first blood in the second half. Conversion El Masri. Bulldogs 24-18
54 min: TRY - Tigers. Dene Halatau falls on the ball just inside the dead ball line following a bomb. He survives video ref scrutiny regarding the put-down. Hodgson's conversion from in front is OK. 24-all
60 min: NEWS - Halfback Brett Sherwin kicks a 40/20 for the Bulldogs.
61 min: PENALTY GOAL - Bulldogs. Tigers ruled offisde. El Masri from right in front makes no mistake. Tigers skipper Scott Sattler having a running battle with ref Tony Archer. Bulldogs 26-24
69 min: TRY - Tigers. Shane Elford intercepts and runs 30m to score under the posts. The Tigers hit the front for the first time. Conversion Hodgson. Tigers 30-26
75 min: NEWS - Dennis Scott (Buldogs) forced to the blood bin with a nasty gash to the forehead.
78 min: NO TRY - Tigers ruled to have knocked on and it's no try. Bulldogs now have one last throw of the dice. 90 seconds and 80 metres to go.
79 min: Bulldogs error in the play-the-ball and Wests Tigers get the scrum feed.
FULL TIME: The Tigers pull off an upset defeating the Bulldogs 30-26
Despite having a slow start, Wests Tigers have put on a big defensive effort with their forwards eventually getting on top.
Tackles: Tigers 309-272 Mistackles: Bulldogs 28-21 Errors: 10-all Completions: Bulldogs 32-29 Sets: Bulldogs 42-39 Possession: Bulldogs 51%
----------------------------------------- Leagueunlimited.com players of the match: 3 - B Hodgson (Tigers) 2 - A Laffranchi (Tigers) 1 - W Tonga (Bulldogs) -----------------------------------------