Bulldogs Bow Out
Sunday 15 September 2013 8:06 PM
The Bulldogs 2013 season has come to a close with the Newcastle Knights defeating the Bulldogs 22-6 in front of 23,086 fans at ANZ Stadium.
It was three tries to one with Knights kicker Tyrone Roberts also kicking five goals to extend the winning margin.
There were a number with changes to the Bulldogs side with Frank Pritchard and Greg Eastwood both coming into the side with Krisnan Inu and Tim Browne the men to miss out. Ben Barba was brought into the starting side also with Josh Morris shifting back to his more favourable centre position.
The opening 40 minutes saw the possession and tide of the match change between both sides at differing stages. The Bulldogs were able to get the jump on their opposition when Sam Perrett crossed in the ninth minute of play. A penalty was earned by Pritchard with Jeremy Smith ruled to have held on to the ball in the ruck for too long. The Bulldogs worked through the set and on the last tackle five-eighth Josh Reynolds put in a well weighted cross-kick and Perrett got the better jump on hi opposite, James McManus and came down with the ball to score. Trent Hodkinson converted to put the Bulldogs out to a 6-nil lead.
There was a raid on the Knights line over the next 10 minutes but novacastrians held strong in defence and no further points could be added.
It was then the Knights who put on a last tackle play of their own in the 23rd minute. It was an outside, inside ball from Tyrone Roberts on to back rower Robbie Rochow who then found a flying Darius Boyd on his inside who managed to reach out to score. Roberts hooked his attempt with the Bulldogs holding on to a 6-4 lead.
Just four minutes later the Knights jumped into the lead when captain Jarrod Mullen put in a cross-kick which was just left alone by the Bulldogs outside men and winger Akuila Uate just judging his run and taking the ball before running over untouched to score. Roberts had his radar on this time around with the conversion putting the Knights in front 10-6.
The 32nd minute saw Sam Kasiano penalised for holding down Beau Scott for too long in the ruck and referee Gavin Badger had no choice but to penalise the kiwi international. Roberts elected to take the shot at goal and converted giving the Knights a converted try lead, 12-6.
The remainder of the half was played out with minimal fanfare with the Knights holding on to the six-point lead at the break.
The opening to the second half was eventful with Chris Houston being sin-binned in the 45th minute after he was penalised for running into the play from an offside position. Shortly after fullback Ben Barba went down with an ankle injury and he didn’t return for the remainder of the match.
It was the usually stable Aiden Tolman who gave away a penalty in the 48th minute for crowding in the play the ball area. A little bit of back chat from the forward saw the referee march forward 10m, giving the Knights an opportunity to take a shot at goal. Roberts took his time and slotted it over from 25m out and directly in front.
13 minutes later it was Michael Ennis who was penalised as he slowly came out of the play the ball and again the Knights chose to take the shot at goal, soaking up every minute as the countdown to the 80 minute mark continued with the score now 16-6 in favour of the Knights.
The 65th minute saw the Knights extend their lead and with it looked to have registered the win. A repeat set was earned and from that the Bulldogs were on the back foot with Smith able to charge forward and bus the line to then score under the uprights. Roberts converted to extend the lead out to 22-6.
The final 14 minutes was played out with no further score being added and the Bulldogs season had come to an end.
KNIGHTS 22 (Boyd, Uate, Smith Tries; Roberts 5 Goals)
BULLDOGS 6 (Perrett Try; Hodkinson 1 Goal)
At: ANZ Stadium