ROUND 19 - 2005

Date 15th Jul 2005
Venue CUA Stadium
Coach Steve Folkes
Captain Andrew Ryan
Referee Paul Simpkins
Crowd 16270
Bulldogs V Panthers
18 16
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Scorers

Player Tries Goals F Goals Points
Hazem El Masri 1 3 0 10
Reni Maitua 2 0 0 8

Match Review

TEAM LINE-UP:

Trent Cutler, 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

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Source: AAP

The Bulldogs virtually extinguished Penrith's hopes of making the NRL finals with an exciting 18-16 away victory.

Bulldogs centre Reni Maitua set the platform for the win with a brace of tries in the first half before the premiers defended grimly after the break to send an ominous warning to the teams above them on the table.

The Bulldogs' victory moves them into the top eight while the Panthers - who have won only two of their past 10 matches - remain firmly anchored in 13th place and seemingly out of the race for September action.

Penrith tried hard but luck went against the 2003 premiers, with video referee Chris Ward denying tries to forwards Joel Clinton and Frank Pritchard in front of a 16,270-strong crowd.

Clinton was tackled centimetres short of the line in the first half while Bulldogs hooker Adam Perry managed to squeeze his arm under the ball to prevent Pritchard scoring in the 60th minute with the visitors 18-10 ahead.

Penrith five-eighth Preston Campbell was dynamic in attack but he was targeted in defence, particularly by Maitua, who was playing only his second game back from a broken ankle suffered in the City-Country clash in May.

The Panthers opened the scoring in the sixth minute through fullback Rhys Wesser, who was put into a hole by his skipper Craig Gower.

Campbell converted the try but from there it was one-way traffic for the visitors as Maitua wreaked havoc on Penrith's right side defensive pairing of Campbell and Danny Galea.

Maitua bagged tries in the 19th and 31st minutes - in between a four-pointer to teammate Hazem El Masri off a Brent Sherwin grubber - to give his side an 18-6 halftime lead.

The Panthers remained in the hunt through a 48th minute try to centre Paul Franze, who ran onto a short Gower ball and hit a gap between Braith Anasta and El Masri to go over and bridge the deficit to 18-10.

No matter what they did, the Panthers couldn't seem to cross the stripe until Campbell intercepted an Anasta pass and ran 15m to score.

He then converted to leave his team trailing 18-16 with 10 minutes remaining.

Panthers winger Luke Lewis made a crucial 74th minute error when he fumbled a Sherwin kick before the ball rolled into touch as the Bulldogs failed to notch a second half point for the fifth time this season.

Bulldogs prop Mark O'Meley was placed on report for a 7th minute high shot on Queensland forward Ben Ross, who was later forced from the field with a suspected shoulder problem.

Standout Bulldogs fullback Trent Cutler - filling in for the injured Luke Patten - was carried from the field on a stretcher in the dying minutes with a suspected left ankle injury.

Data provided by Clint Crofts