ROUND 20 - 2007

Date 28th Jul 2007
Venue Win Stadium
Coach Steve Folkes
Captain Andrew Ryan
Referee Ben Cummins
Crowd 19051
Bulldogs V Dragons
28 24
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Player Tries Goals F Goals Points
Hazem El Masri 2 4 0 16
Nick Kouparitsas 1 0 0 4
Sonny Bill Williams 1 0 0 4
Trent Cutler 1 0 0 4

Match Review


22. Trent Cutler, 2. Hazem El Masri, 3. Daryl Millard, 4. Willie Tonga, 5. Cameron Phelps, 6. Ben Roberts, 7. Brent Sherwin, 8. Jarrad Hickey, 9. Corey Hughes, 10. Chris Armit, 11. Sonny Bill Williams, 12. Andrew Ryan, 13. Reni Maitua.
Interchange: 14. Adam Perry, 15. Nick Kouparitsas, 16. Brad Morrin, 17. Fred Briggs


Source: AAP

St George Illawarra coach Nathan Brown refused to lay the blame at the feet of the video referee after a pair of controversial calls all but ended the Dragons' NRL finals hopes in a thrilling 28-24 loss to the Bulldogs at WIN Stadium.

The home side led for all but four minutes before being run down by the Bulldogs, who stole the two points when Trent Cutler capitalised on a Josh Morris fumble to go over with four minutes remaining.

But the turning point came five minutes earlier with the Dragons holding a 24-16 lead and seemingly headed for their first win over the Bulldogs in six attempts.

Taking the ball from a scrum close to his own line, Ben Creagh was confronted by Sonny Bill Williams who stole the ball from the Dragons lock before racing away to score.

The Dragons argued that Brad Morrin had also been involved in the tackle to make it an illegal strip, but referee Tim Mander gave the Bulldogs the benefit of the doubt.

It followed another benefit-of-the-doubt call just before half-time when Hazem El Masri was ruled to have correctly grounded the ball to leave the visitors just 14-4 down at the break.

"Look at the scoreboard, she's a try (and) there's not much I can do about that now," Brown said.

"I'm more disappointed with the things that we didn't do as opposed to what happened anywhere else.

"I just thought we had some opportunities where we could have taken the benefit of the doubt decisions out of play and we didn't do that."

Creagh too refused to blame Mander, but held back when asked if he thought there were two in the tackle.

"I'm not going to criticise the referee, he made a decision and what's done is done," he said

"It was poor by me, I really wasn't ready for a strip. All credit to him .. they got me with that."

Bulldogs coach Steve Folkes was glad to take the two points, which secures his side's place in the top eight for another week at least.

But already without international props Mark O'Meley and Willie Mason, he could now be without Andrew Ryan after he was put on report for a first-half high tackle on Jason Ryles.

"It's been a while since we've had that sort of luck so we'll certainly take it," Folkes said.

"While we weren't that flash ... we were close enough. They played well but they just didn't play well enough to put us away.

On the Williams try, Folkes said: "It's a split decision I guess.

"If he awarded it no try we probably would have been dirty.

"Obviously by the reaction of some of the crowd they're obviously dirty about it being awarded."

The late drama took the gloss off what was a stellar comeback from the Bulldogs, after they were down 14-0 early through tries to Beau Scott, Matt Copper and Keith Lulia before El Masri struck just before the break.

It took the Bulldogs less than 90 seconds to hit back after the half-time break when El Masri went over under the posts for his second four-pointer, the two sides then trading tries before Cooper's second of the night establishing a 24-16 lead.


Tries: 5
Beau Scott, Matt Cooper(2), Keith Lulia, Jamie Soward
Goals: 2
Jamie Soward(2/6)

Tries: 5
Hazem El Masri(2), Nick Kouparitsas, Sonny Bill Williams, Trent Cutler
Goals: 4
Hazem El Masri(4/5)


FULL TIME: Bulldogs win 28-24!

75m: CONVERSION Bulldogs! Hazem El Masri!
74m: TRY Bulldogs! Trent Cutler!!!
72m: CONVERSION Bulldogs. Hazem El Masri
71m: TRY Bulldogs! Sonny Bill Williams off a one-on-one strip!
71m: VIDEO REF for Bulldogs try
69m: PENALTY Bulldogs
67m: Bulldogs line drop-out
65m: 40/20 Dragons. Ben Hornby
63m: Conversion unsuccessful
62m: TRY Dragons. Matt Copper
60m: Hazem El Masri saves a certain Dragons try. Bulldogs line drop-out
56m: CONVERSION Bulldogs. Hazem El Masri
55m: TRY Bulldogs! Nick Kouparitsas!
53m: Bulldogs line drop-out
47m: CONVERSION Dragons. Jamie Soward
46m: TRY Dragons. Jamie Soward
44m: PENALTY Dragons
42m: CONVERSION Bulldogs. Hazem El Masri
41m: TRY Bulldogs! Hazem El Masri!
40m: Bulldogs kick off

HALF TIME: Dragons winning 14-4

39m: Bulldogs line drop-out
38m: Conversion unsuccessful
37m: TRY Bulldogs! Hazem El Masri!
37m: VIDEO REF for Bulldogs try
34m: PENALTY Dragons
33m: PENALTY Dragons
33m: Cameron Phelps goes close to scoring in the corner
32m: Dragons line drop-out
30m: Conversion unsuccessful
28m: TRY Dragons. Keith Lulia
27m: Jarrad Hickey puts the ball just short of the line
26m: PENALTY Bulldogs
23m: Conversion unsuccessful
21m: TRY Dragons. Matt Cooper
20m: PENALTY Dragons
16m: PENALTY GOAL Dragons. Jamie Soward
16m: PENALTY Dragons
13m: Conversion unsuccessful
11m: TRY Dragons. Beau Scott
10m: PENALTY Dragons
05m: PENALTY Bulldogs
04m: PENALTY Bulldogs
02m: PENALTY Bulldogs
00m: Dragons kick off

* Mark Gasnier out.
* Luke Patten has been ruled out. Trent Cutler will replace him at fullback.