ROUND 3 - 2012

Date 18th Mar 2012
Venue Mt Smart Stadium
Coach Des Hasler
Captain Michael Ennis
Referee Matt Cecchin, Ashley Klein
Crowd 17067
Bulldogs V Warriors
32 18
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Scorers

Player Tries Goals F Goals Points
Steve Turner 1 4 0 12
Jonathan Wright 2 0 0 8
Ben Barba 1 0 0 4
Sam Kasiano 1 0 0 4
Joel Romelo 1 0 0 4

Match Review

TEAM LINE-UP:
1. Ben Barba, 2. Steve Turner, 3. Josh Morris, 4. Jonathan Wright, 5. Bryson Goodwin, 6. Josh Reynolds, 7. Trent Hodkinson, 8. Aiden Tolman, 9. Michael Ennis, 10. Sam Kasiano, 11. Frank Pritchard, 12. Dene Halatau, 13. David Stagg
Interchange: 14. James Graham, 15. Greg Eastwood, 16. Corey Payne, 17. Joel Romelo

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The Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs have showed great grit and composure to run away with a 32-18 win over 2011 Grand Finalists New Zealand Warriors in their Telstra Premiership round three clash at Mount Smart Stadium.

The Bulldogs raced out to a 16-nil lead with three tries in the opening quarter of an hour, only to fall two points behind when Feleti Mateo crossed for the home side ten minutes after half time.

Not to be deterred the Bulldogs worked their way back into position to retake the lead through a Sam Kasiano try, and then survived a number of close calls including a no try ruling against Kevin Locke that came about as a result of some outstanding Ben Barba cover defence.

They then finished with a flourish, with a 70 metre break from Barba setting up the match winner for Jonathan Wright six minutes from time.

The match ended with Joel Romelo touching down off some great lead up from Trent Hodkinson for the final score of 32-18.

Coach Des Hasler said his side “refused to give up” in the match, praising their application to the grind after full time in his side’s third win from as many starts this season.

The Bulldogs worked the edges to great effect to establish themselves a 16 point buffer in less than even time to start the match.

The first try came after Kiwi international Frank Pritchard found space on the left, with the second rowers surprise grubber kick finding Barba who touched down to score midway between the posts and the right hand touch line.

The Bulldogs went left again soon after through five eighth Josh Reynolds, who also kicked towards the in goal to a flying Steve Turner to score the Dogs second.

The Barba chimed in again on the right, sending Jonathan Wright away to score to make it 16-nil to the visitors after a quarter hour.

But the Bulldogs were their own worst enemies for the remainder of the half, a combination of mistakes and penalties allowing the Warriors to peg the lead back to just four after the home side scored back to back tries.

After surprisingly being moved to the interchange bench pre-match by Warriors coach Brian McClennan, Mateo wasted no time getting involved once introduced, slipping a neat offload to put James Maloney over for the Warriors first try on 27 minutes.

Two minutes later – after the Bulldogs put the kick off out on the full – giant prop Sione Louisi went in for the Warriors second and all of a sudden the score was a lot less convincing 16-12.

So dominant to finish the first half, Mateo inserted himself into the action ten minutes into the second when he ghosted between Sam Kasiano and Wright to score wide out and level it up at 16-all.

Maloney added his third conversion from as many attempts to give the home side the lead for the first time in the match at 18-16.

The Bulldogs hit back through sheer brute strength with Kasiano forcing his way over next to the posts, with Turner’s conversion making it 22-18 the Bulldogs way.

But still the Warriors kept on coming with wave after wave of pressure, which looked to have told with ten minutes remaining when Mateo sent Locke over off a beautiful inside ball play.

But the try was denied by video referee Pat Reynolds who ruled Barba had held up his opposite number over the line.

In the meantime the Bulldogs had Aiden Tolman put on report for a hit on Maloney, further ramping up the pressure they found themselves under.

But the Bulldogs responded and once again it was through Barba, who scooped up a bouncing ball and sprinted 70 metres before being pulled down by Locke in a desperate tackle.

With the Warriors defence unable to recover the Bulldogs flung it wide to Wright who touched down for his second to put the result beyond doubt.

Romelo then touched down seconds out from full time to complete the match, the Bulldogs running out an emphatic 32-18 winner.