ROUND 18 - 2005

Date 10th Jul 2005
Venue Mt Smart Stadium
Coach Steve Folkes
Captain Andrew Ryan
Referee Paul Simpkins
Crowd 12822
Bulldogs V Warriors
26 24
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Player Tries Goals F Goals Points
Braith Anasta 3 0 0 12
Hazem El Masri 0 5 0 10
Dallas McIlwain 1 0 0 4

Match Review


Luke Patten, Hazem El Masri, Jamaal Lolesi, Reni Maitua, Matt Utai, Braith Anasta, Brent Sherwin, Mark O'Meley, Corey Hughes, Roy Asotasi, Nate Myles, Andrew Ryan, Tony Grimaldi.
Interchange: Chris Armit, Willie Mason, Dallas McIlwain, Adam Perry



National Rugby League reigning premiers Canterbury have kept their season alive with a thrilling 26-24 win over the New Zealand Warriors in Auckland.

In the end a Hazem El Masri penalty with 15 minutes remaining was all that separated the two sides as the Bulldogs fought off a relentless Warriors onslaught in the final minutes.

Second rower Sione Faumuina was ruled held up by Brent Sherwin with just seconds left, the Bulldogs half-back atoning for his knock-on which had put the Warriors in a position to score.

New South Wales five-eighth Braith Anasta continued his fine form with a hat-trick of tries while big forward Willie Mason came through unscathed in his return from a foot injury suffered during Australia's end of season tour.

Anasta put the win down to the team's reslience late in each half.

"It was pretty imporant that we won today, I think that it showed in our defence there in the end, it was do or die for us," he said.

"I think probably at the end of the first half there we started to get on a bit of a roll and play better football.

"We came out and scored first too (in the second half) which was important.

"We've struggled most of the year, we've had a lot of injuries. We've been trying hard but not playing to our best and hopefully we can get a few more wins now and work our way to the semis."

The Bulldogs' victory puts them within a point of a finals spot while the Warriors slip further out of contention after another narrow defeat.

The match opened at a frenetic pace and it was the Bulldogs who posted the first points when Anasta emerged from a pack of chasing players to ground an El Masri grubber kick after the winger had broken down the sideline.

The Warriors though were unfazed and struck back in the 19th minute through Wairangi Koopu.

Koopu pirouetted through the Bulldogs defence after hitting a Stacey Jones cut-out pass to go over.

The mercurial Jones then set up the second try for Francis Meli, throwing a well-timed long pass to the Warriors winger who outsprinted the Bulldogs defence to the corner.

The telling blow though perhaps came right on the stroke of half-time, with Anasta slipping through some poor defence to post his second try.

The treble was completed three minutes into the second half when Reni Maitua, back from an ankle injury earlier than expected, broke down the sideline and palmed off the covering defence before slipping the ball inside to Anasta in support.

The Warriors refused to buckle however and six minutes later they were back on terms when Meli put Faumuina in a hole and the bullocking forward scooted up the middle of the ruck before passing on the outside to a supporting Jones, who scored and then converted.

They blew a big chance to take the lead when Jones put Todd Byrne through a gap close to the line and Byrne's pass was knocked on.

Canterbury then looked set to run away with the game, with a penalty followed by a converted try to Dallas McIlwain in the corner which made the margin eight points.

Byrne though still had time to score his 13th try of the season of a Jones banana kick in the 76th minute, which set up a thrilling finish.

Data provided by Clint Crofts