DOGS WIN THRILLER OVER WESTS TIGERS
Sunday 3 May 2009 2:52 PM
The Bulldogs have won a thrilling game of rugby league 22-20 over the Wests Tigers this afternoon at ANZ Stadium.
The Bulldogs opened the scoring through El Masri, however, the point scoring wizard failed to add the extras.
The Tigers managed to level the scores at 4-4 before Hazem found the line once again, this time making no mistake with the conversion to give the Bulldogs a 10-4 lead.
The Bulldogs could have been ahead not long after when the Dogs put together some fantastic attacking football only for the video referee to rule a Tigers player was impeded.
Just 5 minutes out from the halftime break the Tigers leveled the scores through Beau Ryan. The halftime scoreline was 10-10.
The second half started terribly for the blue-and-whites when they lost the ball in their opening set. This allowed the Tigers to pounce and it was Todd Payten who strolled over to give the Tigers the lead for the first time. The conversion attempt was unsuccessful but the visitors were ahead 14-10.
The talk all week was surrounding the NSW hooker selection between Michael Ennis and Robbie Farah. Both players had great games and Ennis made sure he was noticed when he latched onto a beautifully weighted Kimmorley grubber to score. El Masri converted and the Dogs were back in front.
The game was well contested and although the Bulldogs looked the better side early, the Tigers were well-and-truly in this one. With 20 minutes remaining the Wests Tigers leveled the scores from a penalty goal to Shannon Gallant and the crowd moved a little closer to the edge of their seats.
Both sides had plenty of chances to deal the next blow but it was the Bulldogs who took the lead when Michael Ennis kicked, finding Bryson Goodwin who touched down 10 metres in from touch.
The following kick from El Masri proved the difference as the veteran moved in and slotted the extras to give the blue-and-whites a six-point buffer with less than 10 minutes remaining.
The Bulldogs shot themselves in the foot from the restart when Stagg lost the ball. The hooker battle then continued when Farah kicked and found winger Beau Ryan who scored out wide. The conversion attempt was unsuccessful and the score remained 22-20 in favour of the Dogs as the clock wound down.
Michael Ennis had one last say when he placed a perfectly weighted kick down field and into touch with less than a minute remaining to give the Bulldogs their fifth straight win and top spot on the NRL ladder.