Sea-Eagles Fly Over Bulldogs

The Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs have tonight had a hard day at the office being defeated 20-6 by the Manly Sea-Eagles in front of 18,563 fans at ANZ Stadium.


Coach Des Hasler was happy with the effort but said the side were just off tonight.


We were off tonight, he said. We were eight from fourteen (sets) early in the piece and that isnt good enough.


Our options werent there and Manly were the better side.


Theyve been up for quite a while and that continued tonight, we made a number of fundamental errors and end of set options werent great.


There was some bad news for the Bulldogs on game-day with Greg Eastwood having to pull out of the match for personal reason and David Klemmer falling ill and unable to be brought into the side. With that comes opportunities and it was Frank Pritchard who was brought into the starting line-up and Harlan Alaalatoa was handed his NRL debut and would do so from the interchange bench.


The first points of the night came in the eighth minute through Sea-Eagles winger Jorge Taufua. Off the back of a repeat set thanks to a Daly Cherry-Evans kick that ended with Ben Barba being forced into the in-goal. From that next set the visitors worked the ball toward the right hand side and from there was a swift backline movement out to the left with the ball going through the hands of Cherry-Evans, Kieran Foran, Brett Stewart and then a cut-out pass was thrown to Taufua who went over in the south-east corner. Jamie Lyon converted smartly from the sideline with the Sea-Eagles lead out to 6-nil early in the fixture.


The next period of play saw the Bulldogs just continually shoot themselves in the foot with a number errors in their end handing the visitors a wealth of possession over the next 15 minute period. The defence of the blue and whites kept them in the game, until the 26th minute at least.


It was Anthony Watmough who looked to have been held in the tackle but the representative forward managed to get his right hand free and offload the ball, with Stewart picking it up. From there Stewart went straight through the middle of some tired defender and once he came to Barba at the back he passed the ball to Lyon who smartly threw a dummy soon after receiving the ball and slid over next to the right hand upright to score. He easily converted to extend the lead out 12-nil.


In what proved to be a terrible half of football for the Bulldogs, the Sea-Eagles went over for their third try with three minutes remaining in the half. With Cherry-Evans set up on the open side the Sea-Eagles went to the short side and Foran put in a well weighted grubber that was swooped on and put down by Taufua just millimetres from the dead ball line. Lyon had packed his kicking boots and converted once more from the sideline for an 18-nil lead.


The final moments of the half were spent with not much action and the half-time siren sounded which was much relief to all of the Bulldogs players.


A penalty in the 50th minute against former Eagle Tony Williams gave the men from over the bridge an opportunity to at penalty goal which Lyon chose to do. From 26m out and just to the left of the uprights the Manly captain hooked the kick and it was waved away by the linesmen with the score remaining 18-nil.


Lyon wasnt going to miss another opportunity when given to him in the 67th minute. It was a penalty against the Bulldogs and from almost an identical position he slotted the ball straight over the black dot to make the lead 20-nil.


The home side broke the drought in the 72nd minute with Ennis showing and going to score his first try in close to two years. From just to the right of the uprights and just a few metres out, Halatau received the ball from his captain and he ran back around to receive the ball once more. From there he showed it to his left and fooled the defence to crash over under the posts. Tim Lafai took over the kicking duties and converted to close the gap to 20-6.


The remaining minutes were played with plenty of heart from the Bulldogs but it couldnt be converted into points with the Sea-Eagles registering a 20-6 victory.


SEA-EAGLES (Taufua 2, Lyon Tries; Lyon 4 Goals)


Def.


BULLDOGS 6 (Ennis Try; Lafai Goal)


At: ANZ Stadium


Crowd: 18,563