SEMI FINAL - 2007

Date 15th Sep 2007
Venue ANZ Stadium
Coach Steve Folkes
Captain Andrew Ryan
Referee Shayne Hayne
Crowd 50621
Bulldogs V Eels
6 25
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Scorers

Player Tries Goals F Goals Points
Matt Utai 1 0 0 4
Hazem El Masri 0 1 0 2

Match Review

TEAM LINE-UP:

1. Luke Patten, 2. Hazem El Masri, 3. Daryl Millard, 4. Willie Tonga, 5. Matt Utai, 6. Ben Roberts, 7. Brent Sherwin, 8. Mark O'Meley, 9. Corey Hughes, 10. Willie Mason, 11. Sonny Bill Williams, 12. Andrew Ryan, 13. Reni Maitua.
Interchange: 14. Adam Perry, 15. Chris Armit, 16. Nick Kouparitsas, 17. Jarrad Hickey

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Match Review
Source: AAP

Parramatta have inflicted a slow and painful death on the Bulldogs' NRL season, claiming a 25-6 victory at Telstra Stadium to qualify for a preliminary final against minor premier Melbourne next week.

The Eels utterly dominated a wounded Dogs side in the semi-final, but it wasn't until a 74th minute intercept try to centre Timana Tahu they put the result beyond doubt.

Parramatta claimed a four-tries-to-one win in front of 50,621 fans to move one win away from a grand final appearance.

But, despite the Eels' dominance, it was a Bulldogs error that ultimately handed the Eels victory.

Five-eighth Ben Roberts threw a loose pass that Reni Maitua could only bat with one hand before Tahu scooped up the ball to run untouched and cross beneath the posts.

Tahu threw a superb one-handed pass to fullback Jarryd Hayne to add a celebration try with 30 seconds remaining to cap a wonderful night for Parramatta.

Aside from a fortuitous 35m field goal by Brett Finch in the 51st minute, however, the Eels struggled to find points in the second half as the Dogs bravely kept fighting.

"Like a cat playing with a half dead mouse, they won't finish them," said Channel Nine commentator Phil Gould shortly before the match-sealing try.

"It's torture."

The Bulldogs battled admirably all night, but did so without their biggest weapon after second rower Sonny Bill Williams walked off after just 15 minutes with a suspected fractured forearm.

A Williams offload led to the Bulldogs opening the scoring with a try to Matt Utai in the fifth minute, but from there things turned pear-shaped for the blue and whites.

Williams clutched his right forearm shortly after making a tackle in the eighth minute and never fully recovered.

He tried to battle on but signalled to the bench immediately after his next hit up and left the field in the 15th minute and headed to the dressing rooms.

The Eels struck almost immediately, Parramatta hooker Mark Riddell levelling scores with a try in the 19th minute after he regathered his own grubber kick after Dogs centre Daryl Millard failed to collect it near his goal line.

Eric Grothe scored in the corner in the 34th minute after a sweeping play to hand Parramatta a 12-6 lead at the break.

Williams returned to the field in the 69th minute, but could not spark the Dogs and walked off as soon Tahu crossed under the uprights.

MATCH SUMMARY

EELS: 25
Tries: 4
Mark Riddell, Eric Grothe, Timana Tahu, Jarryd Hayne
Goals: 4
Krisnan Inu(4/4)
Field Goals:
Brett Finch(1/1)

BULLDOGS: 6
Tries: 1
Matt Utai
Goals: 1
Hazem El Masri(1/1)

MINUTE-BY-MINUTE

FULL-TIME: Eels win 25-6

80m: CONVERSION Eels. Krisnan Inu
80m: TRY Eels. Jarryd Hayne
78m: PENALTY Eels
75m: CONVERSION Eels. Krisnan Inu
73m: TRY Eels. Timana Tahu
72m: Matt Utai with a try saver
68m: Sonny Bill Williams is back on the field
62m: PENALTY Eels
55m: PENALTY Eels
51m: FIELD GOAL Eels. Brett Finch
47m: PENALTY Eels
46m: VIDEO REF for Bulldogs try
46m: PENALTY Bulldogs
45m: PENALTY Bulldogs
40m: Eels kick-off

HALF-TIME: Eels winning 12-6

36m: CONVERSION Eels. Krisnan Inu
34m: TRY Eels. Eric Grothe
30m: PENALTY Eels
27m: PENALTY Bulldogs
25m: PENALTY Eels
23m: Bulldogs try goes begging
21m: CONVERSION Eels. Krisnan Inu
19m: TRY Eels. Mark Riddell
17m: Bulldogs line drop-out
15m: Nick Kouparitsas has come on for Sonny Bill Williams who has an injury to his arm
11m: PENALTY Eels
07m: CONVERSION Bulldogs. Hazem El Masri from the sideline!
05m: TRY Bulldogs! Matt Utai!
03m: Bulldogs line drop-out
02m: PENALTY Eels
00m: Bulldogs kick-off

The Eels will also be 1-17.
The Bulldogs will be 1-17.

A record finals crowd is expected here at Telstra Stadium tonight.