ROUND 26 - 2004

Date 5th Sep 2004
Venue Mt Smart Stadium
Coach Steve Folkes
Captain Steve Price
Referee Jason Robinson
Crowd 9930
Bulldogs V Warriors
54 10
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Scorers

Player Tries Goals F Goals Points
Hazem El Masri 1 7 0 18
Matt Utai 4 0 0 16
Tony Grimaldi 1 0 0 4
Mark O'Meley 1 0 0 4
Luke Patten 1 0 0 4
Willie Tonga 1 0 0 4
Sonny Bill Williams 1 0 0 4

Match Review

TEAM LINE-UP:

1. Luke Patten, 2. Hazem El Masri, 3. Ben Harris, 4. Willie Tonga, 5. Matt Utai, 6. Braith Anasta, 18. Johnathan Thurston, 8. Mark O'Meley, 9. Adam Perry, 10. Steve Price, 11. Willie Mason, 12. Andrew Ryan, 13. Tony Grimaldi.
Interchange: 14. Reni Maitua, 15. Corey Hughes, 16. Roy Asotasi, 17. Sonny Bill Williams

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Source: www.abc.net.au

Left side pairing Matt Utai and Willie Tonga tore the New Zealand Warriors apart as the Bulldogs waltzed home 54-10 in their final round National Rugby League match in Auckland.

Utai crossed for four tries, two of them set up by Tonga, as the Bulldogs toyed with a team who ended up avoiding the wooden spoon on differential.

The Bulldogs currently top the competition standings but will finish second if Sydney beats Parramatta and will host North Queensland as the finals get underway next week.

The Warriors' woeful completion rate (16 of 31 sets) contributed to the Bulldogs' first ever win at the New Zealand team's home ground.

The visitors ran in 10 tries to two, with winger Tony Martin getting the Warriors' four-pointers.

It took the Bulldogs six minutes to score, when prop Mark O'Meley crashed over, and they had opened up a handy lead by the 20-minute mark with Utai's first two tries.

He had his hat-trick in the 34th minute, and a try to Sonny-Bill Williams, who was a handful all day for the Warriors, gave the visitors a 28-6 half-time lead.

Four tries in the first 20 minutes of the second half then had Warriors fans heading for the exit.

Lock Tony Grimaldi's barnstorming effort pushed the Bulldogs past the half-century mark, before Martin crossed for a consolation from a Lance Hohaia kick with seven minutes remaining.

Utai rounded out the scoring with his fourth minutes from the end.

Winger Hazem El Masri finished with 18 points from a try and seven goals for the Bulldogs, while props O'Meley and Steve Price were tireless, racking up over 400 metres between them with 20 hit-ups apiece.

Bulldogs skipper Price, signed by the Warriors for next season, was given a warm applause when he was rested midway through the second half by coach Steve Folkes.

Data provided by Clint Crofts