ROUND 17 - 2006

Date 2nd Jul 2006
Venue ANZ Stadium
Coach Steve Folkes
Captain Andrew Ryan
Referee Paul Simpkins
Crowd 22511
Bulldogs V Tigers
32 10
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Scorers

Player Tries Goals F Goals Points
Hazem El Masri 1 6 0 16
Jarrad Hickey 1 0 0 4
Luke Patten 1 0 0 4
Andrew Ryan 1 0 0 4
Willie Tonga 1 0 0 4

Match Review

TEAM LINE-UP:

1. Luke Patten, 2. Hazem El Masri, 3. Cameron Phelps, 4. Willie Tonga, 5. Matt Utai, 6. Daniel Holdsworth, 7. Brent Sherwin, 15. Jarrad Hickey, 9. Tony Grimaldi, 10. Roy Asotasi, 11. Sonny Bill Williams, 12. Andrew Ryan, 13. Reni Maitua.
Interchange: 8. Chris Armit, 14. Daniel Irvine, 16. Brad Morrin, 17. Dallas McIlwain

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Source: AAP

Bulldogs winger Matt Utai was the first player sent off in 272 NRL matches as his side belted Wests Tigers 32-10 to leave their premiership defence in disarray.

Referee Paul Simpkins gave Utai his marching orders after the New Zealand flanker caught Tigers hooker Stuart Flanagan with a swinging arm in the 55th minute.

Video referee Steve Clark watched several replays of the incident which resulted in Flanagan being eventually replaced by debutant Rangi Chase.

"It may have come off the ball but we thought there was intent," Simpkins told Utai as he pointed to the stands.

Utai became the first player sent off since Sydney Roosters enforcer Adrian Morley in round 6 in 2005 in a match against the Bulldogs at Telstra Stadium.

The 25-year-old is unlikely to be the only Bulldog to spend a stint on the sidelines, with heavyweight prop Jarrad Hickey placed on report for a 36th minute high shot, also on the luckless Flanagan.

The dramas overshadowed a ruthless performance from a Bulldogs pack missing State of Origin representative Willie Mason, Mark O'Meley and Nate Myles.

In their absence, superstar Sonny Bill Williams stepped up to the mark, earning man of the match honours after being shifted into the second row.

Underrated Bulldogs hooker Tony Grimaldi orchestrated the first try of the game in the sixth minute, drifting across-field before putting heavyweight prop Jarrod Hickey through a gap in the defensive line.

Backrower Andrew Ryan, controversially axed by NSW selectors for next week's Origin decider, then ran over the top of opposing skipper Scott Prince to extend the lead 11 minutes later.

Prince got his revenge a few moments later, holding Ryan up over the line as the premiers were forced to defend countless raids on their line.

However, there was no denying Bulldogs fullback Luke Patten, who spun out of a Dean Collis tackle on a sizzling sojourn to the tryline in the 28th minute.

A Hazem El Masri penalty three minutes later extended the lead to 20-0, the score remaining until the halftime break.

The Bulldogs winger ended the contest with a try of his own three minutes after the resumption, finishing a neat backline movement which featured a magnificent flick pass from Sonny Bill Williams.

The Tigers scored two late consolation tries, but were never in the hunt.

Data provided by Clint Crofts