ROUND 21 - 2001

Date 28th Jul 2001
Venue Mt Smart Stadium
Coach Steve Folkes
Captain Darren Britt
Referee Paul Simpkins
Crowd 10391
Bulldogs V Warriors
8 34
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Scorers

Player Tries Goals F Goals Points
Shane Marteene 1 0 0 4
Nigel Vagana 1 0 0 4

Match Review

The Bulldogs premiership dream has come to a halt with a poor performance against the Warriors, losing 34-8 at Ericsson Stadium. The loss has all but handed Parramatta the minor premiership on a platter.

The mistakes from the Bulldogs bordered on the comical, the display even worse than the 32-0 loss against Canberra earlier in the year.

With the minor premiership to play for the Bulldogs refused to turn up ready to play with the Warriors dishing out a football lesson.

It was the Warriors forwards that won the game with Jerry Seu Seu, Ali Lauitiiti and Monty Betham all having strong games amongst a host of great performers for the Warriors. Only Steven Price played half good for the Bulldogs.

Everything the Warriors did turned to gold and Stacey Jones' kicking game was probably best by any player this season exposing Shane Marteene in a big way that handed the Warriors three easy tries and plenty of back-to-back possession.

Last week the Bulldogs disposed of Brisbane pretty comfortably at ANZ Stadium but tonight learnt the harsh realities that Rugby League is a week-to-week game and premierships aren't won on victories against Brisbane. Over the last few years the Bulldogs have had a mental block against the Warriors and that has continued.

Every mistake that could have been made by the Bulldogs was made as it was a performance that completely lack the effort, intensity and spirit of previous weeks.

New Zealand led 12-4 at halftime with Stacey Jones and Justin Murphy scoring the Warriors first half tries whilst Nigel Vagana crossed over for the Bulldogs.

The second half was a Warriors onslaught and could have been more if they had better control of the football. Mark Tookey scored the first try of the second half following great pick up of the ball from a Jerry Seu Seu pass.

Jones exposed Marteene for the 2nd time of the match when he dropped another kick with Logan Swann swooping on the ball to score.

The Bulldogs struck with a try to Marteene but from the kick off they casually watched the ball go into touch where from the Warriors got good field position from the scrum win. Monty Betham scored an easy try from dummy half to confirm the Warriors dominance on the match.

New Zealand's final try summed up Canterbury's night with Marteene mucking up another Jones kick along with Luke Patten with Henry Faafili diving on to score an easy try. Brett Howland surely must now be recalled to the top grade. But the Bulldogs saved the worst to last losing a scrum against the feed.

Daniel Anderson deserves full praise for getting the Warriors players minds on the job in the clubs biggest match of the season with 8th position looming. The Warriors came out ready to play football and completely dominated the second placed Bulldogs who'll now drop down to 4th when Brisbane and Newcastle win tomorrow.

With the form of Melbourne and Northern Eagles starting to fade, the Warriors victory against the Bulldogs puts them into a terrific position for a semi-final appearance against Parramatta on Sunday 9th.

The Warriors have overcome massive hurdles at the end of last year to get within sight of the finals and deserve to be there ahead of Northern Eagles and Melbourne purely on committment, spirit and effort.

As for the Bulldogs, it's back to the drawing board who learnt a very harsh lesson that every match counts in Rugby League. Parramatta in two weeks will be the true test and the Bulldogs do have a good record against the Eels but the critics will no doubt be having a field day.

Source: www.rleague.com

Data provided by Clint Crofts