ROUND 10 - 2005

Date 14th May 2005
Venue ANZ Stadium
Coach Steve Folkes
Captain Andrew Ryan
Referee Sean Hampstead
Crowd 14768
Bulldogs V Sea Eagles
10 18
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Scorers

Player Tries Goals F Goals Points
Hazem El Masri 2 1 0 10

Match Review

TEAM LINE-UP:

Luke Patten, Hazem El Masri, Jamaal Lolesi, Cameron Phelps, Matt Utai, Braith Anasta, Brent Sherwin, Chris Armit, Corey Hughes, Roy Asotasi, Tony Grimaldi, Andrew Ryan, Dallas McIlwain.
Interchange: Charlie Tonga, Brad Morrin, Adam Brideson, Adam Perry

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Source: AAP

An ankle injury to prized pivot Braith Anasta further soured the Bulldogs' 18-10 NRL loss to high-flying Manly at Telstra Stadium on Saturday, the Sea Eagles' first win over Canterbury since 1996.

Former Test player Anasta was under the spotlight before the game after sounding out a code switch with Wallabies coach Eddie Jones this week.

While Anasta is expected to make a decision on his future in a fortnight, the Bulldogs five-eighth didn't look distracted tonight as he stood tall before succumbing to an ankle injury in the 67th minute.

Anasta appeared to slip and injure his left ankle when he was about to be tackled and was soon taken off by coach Steve Folkes.

An injury would seriously hamper Anasta's chances of making the NSW Origin team to be named on Monday.

NSW selector Laurie Daley said of Anasta on Fox Sports tonight: "I think people might have thought he might be distracted (by rugby talks)...but he has proved everyone wrong tonight".

But Anasta faces an anxious wait to see if he will be added to the Bulldogs' already lengthy injury list.

Their horror run continued this week with prop Nate Myles (knee) ruled out for eight to 12 weeks, barely a week after losing NSW City utility Reni Maitua (ankle, 12 weeks) and Queensland centre Willie Tonga (knee, eight weeks).

They were added to a list that already included star backrower Sonny Bill Williams (ankle, two weeks) and Test props Mark O'Meley (leg, 10 weeks) and Willie Mason (foot, 10 weeks).

In contrast, Manly (7-2 record) sealed its second straight victory and fourth in five games after outlasting the depleted Bulldogs in a scoreless second half.

The Sea Eagles weren't full of confidence when they arrived - they had not beaten the Bulldogs in nine years, had never won at Telstra Stadium and lost eight straight games under lights.

But Manly coach Des Hasler's decision to hold training sessions this week from 5.30pm in a bid to turn that around worked a treat tonight as they sealed their second away win this season.

After Matt Utai dropped the ball over the line in the 17th minute, fellow Bulldogs winger Hazem El Masri finally broke the deadlock when he fed off Brent Sherwin, weaved through four defenders and reached out to score three minutes later.

Manly hit back with a vengeance, crossing through express fullback Brett Stewart (25th) and supersub Shayne Dunley (28th) to snatch a 12-6 lead.

El Masri then became the first player this season to break the 100-point barrier when he outjumped rival winger Scott Donald to latch onto a Sherwin cross-field kick and score in the 32nd, cutting the deficit to just 12-10.

But winger Chris Hicks ensured Manly took an 18-10 halftime lead when he held on to a clever Terry Hill backflick pass down the right sideline to score in the 35th before pivot Michael Witt drilled a sideline conversion.

Data provided by Clint Crofts