ROUND 11 - 2005

Date 21st May 2005
Venue Olympic Park
Coach Steve Folkes
Captain Braith Anasta
Referee Tony Archer
Crowd 8438
Bulldogs V Storm
26 16
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Player Tries Goals F Goals Points
Hazem El Masri 1 5 0 14
Jamaal Lolesi 1 0 0 4
Luke Patten 1 0 0 4
Matt Utai 1 0 0 4

Match Review


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



Reigning premiers the Bulldogs have posted only their fourth win of the National Rugby League season with a 26-16 victory over the Melbourne Storm in their round 11 clash at Olympic Park.

The Bulldogs, missing several key players through injury and State of Origin duty, played a patient but at times entertaining brand of rugby league as they scored four tries to three against a disappointing Storm outfit.

Luke Patten, Hazem El Masri, Matt Utai and Jamaal Lolesi crossed for tries while El Masri had a perfect night with the boot as he managed four conversions and one penalty goal.

For the Storm, Robbie Kearns, David Kidwell and Josh Graham scored four-pointers and Matt Orford added two conversions.

Bulldogs coach Steve Folkes said he was happy with the way his injury-hit side stepped up.

"It's a really terrific effort you know - it's not easy for young guys to come up week after week with great efforts like the last two weeks ... we've played really well."

The Bulldogs led 20-12 at half-time and their forwards once again provided a solid defensive platform.

Second rower Adam Brideson led the tackle count with 37 while Tony Grimaldi recorded 36.

The loss is Melbourne's fifth of the season and it could see them slip out of the top eight at the completion of round 11.

It is also their third straight defeat at Olympic Park, somewhat surprising after they won 11 out of 13 matches prior to their current losing run.

The Bulldogs made a blistering start to the match, scoring their opening try in the first minute of play.

Within their own half, the visitors had launched an attacking movement which found Utai on the left wing.

Weaving his way inside, Utai was able to make a break downfield before drawing the last line of defence to pass to an unmarked Patten who scored a four-pointer with ease.

El Masri added the extras and he scored the Bulldogs' second try five minutes later.

Only metres out from his side's tryline, Melbourne full-back Greg Inglis failed to properly field a bomb kick from the Bulldogs and instead knocked the ball forward.

The Bulldogs pounced on the loose ball and from the ensuring set of six tackles, El Masri crossed for a try from dummy half.

With his second conversion and penalty goal soon after, El Masri had put the Bulldogs 14-0 ahead but midway through the first half, the Storm were able to open their account through Kearns.

After the Storm had patiently worked their way into an attacking position close to the Bulldogs tryline, interchange player Nathan Friend ran right from dummy half to offload to a steaming Kearns who bulldozed his way through the Bulldogs defence to score.

Orford converted to close the gap on the scoreboard to eight points and the Storm were unlucky not to score from a series of attacking movements following Kearns's try.

They did prove to be their own worst enemy in attack however, when Scott Hill threw a reckless cut-out pass with the Storm only 10 metres out from the Bulldogs line.

The pass, intended for Storm winger Jake Webster, was intercepted by Utai who ran 90 metres to score under the posts.

El Masri's third conversion restored the Bulldogs' 14-point buffer, yet it could have almost immediately been reduced had Storm hooker Cooper Cronk not thrown a forward pass to Glenn Turner who had crossed for what appeared to be Melbourne's second try.

The Bulldogs had the chance to make the Storm pay for their missed opportunity, but Utai had a try disallowed in the left corner late in the half.

The Storm finally did capitalise again on their many attacking opportunities when Kidwell scored a converted try in the final minute of play before half-time.

The Bulldogs stamped their authority on the match after the break when Lolesi scored his side's fourth try in the 41st minute.

The Storm had turned over possession soon after the resumption of play and from the following set of tackles, Bulldogs five-eighth Braith Anasta used a second-man play to find Patten veering towards the left-hand touchline.

Patten used a smart switch pass to send Lolesi back in field, who in turn made his way through pedestrian Storm defence to score.

El Masri then kicked his fourth conversion of the night and the Bulldogs led 26-12.

The Storm had chances to get back in the match but through squandered attacking opportunities and excellent Bulldogs defence, they were prevented from making any further impression.

They did, however, cross for their third try in the shadows of full-time when Graham crashed over after marking an Orford long chip close to the Bulldogs tryline.

Data provided by Clint Crofts