Bulldogs Defence Earns Them First Victory
Thursday 14 March 2013 10:00 PM
A promising first half and a great defensive effort in the second has given the Bulldogs their first victory for season 2013 with 20-16 win over the Eels at ANZ Stadium.
It was four tries to three in the first half with the second half being played with no points registered.
Coach Des Hasler was happy to get the win but wasn’t too impressed with the overall display.
“The only real positive we can take out of that is the defensive effort,” Hasler said. “It was a pretty scrappy affair but we showed plenty of character and guts to shut the Eels out.”
“The Eels deserve some credit, they got plenty into the tackle and slowed us down a bit.”
Winger Steve Turner was ruled out of the match with knee soreness and that gave Mitch Brown his first chance for the Bulldogs in the NRL. Brown played six games for the NSW Cup side last year before injuring his knee and being ruled out for the year. He had a promising pre-season and is back to full fitness and ready to go.
The Bulldogs owned the opening 10 minutes of the match with the blue and white able to open the scoring in just the fifth minute of play. It was Josh Reynolds who earned a penalty for the Eels slow movement in the ruck. The set started from 35m out and they try came on the last play through back rower Josh Jackson. It was a Reynolds kick originally that was batted back by Brown to Josh Morris. Morris then got boot to ball again and it was beautifully followed up by Jackson who gathered and crashed over to score. Centre Krisnan Inu converted to get the early lead 6-nil.
The eighth minute saw Brown go over for his first NRL try in the blue and white with just his second touch of the night. This time it was slick movement through the hands to the left hand side. It was Keating who started it off but it was Jackson who smartly tipped on the ball to Brown who went over in the south-east corner. Inu couldn’t convert this one from the sideline with the Bulldogs going with the clock, it was 10-nil after 10 minutes.
It was then the Eels turn to take control of the match with two of their own tries. It was Matt Ryan and Cheyse Blair who were the try scorers. The first was off a Sandow kick that Brown couldn’t regather, the ball hit him on the shoulder and Ryan picked up the loose ball to score. Sandow converted with the score 10-6 after 14 minutes.
The second was scored by winger Cheyse Blair. Back to back penalties against the Bulldogs gave the Eels good field position and Sandow took the ball to the right, drew in defenders and threw a ball over the top to Blair to score in the north-east corner. Sandow couldn’t convert this one with the score 10-all.
The next scoring points came through some Reynolds brilliance. 35m out from his own line Reynolds took the ball and threw a dummy which fooled former Bulldog Ben Roberts and the St George Dragons junior slipped through. From there he fooled fullback Jarryd Hayne to go the 65m basically untouched. Inu smartly converted from the sideline to extend the lead to 16-10 after 22 minutes.
The lead was extended through Sam Perrett in the 30th minute. It was a Reynolds cross-kick that gave the Kiwi international the chance and he didn’t let anyone down. Perrett took the ball in the air and with the defence doing everything they could to push him back he managed to come down to the ground with the ball and plant it on to the line with his right hand. Inu missed the conversion with the lead extended out to 20-10.
With just two minutes remaining in the half a comedy of errors from both sides ended in points for the Eels. The final one was a Morris lost ball that was picked up and shifted out to Blair who went over for his second try of the night.
Sandow converted from the sideline and the sides went to the sheds with the Bulldogs on front 20-16.
The opening 20 minutes of the second half went past without score but it was the Bulldogs on the back foot with the Eels dominating field position. A number of errors and penalties were the reasoning but thankfully the defence held strong and the blue and whites continued in the lead 20-16.
The Bulldogs spent close to three-quarters of the half camped in their own half with those errors and penalties costing them field position.
The closing stages were spent with all the Members and fans on the edge of their seats and luckily enough they were able to hold on and register their first win.
BULLDOGS 20 (Jackson, Brown, Reynolds, Perrett Tries; Inu 2 Goals) def. EELS 16 (Blair 2, Ryan Tries; Sandow 2 Goals)
At: ANZ Stadium