Bulldogs Round-up Cowboys

The Bulldogs have dominated the second half to record a 36-26 victory over the Cowboys in Townsville tonight.


It was six tries to four with Ben Barba grabbing a double in the process.


Coach Des Hasler wasn't overly impressed but was happy to be taking the two points away from Townsville.


"We were ugly, they were probably a bit uglier but I think overall the referees were the ugliest," Hasler said. "It's always a tough road-trip but we were fortunate to get the two points."


There were a number of changes to the side with Tim Lafai, Joel Romelo and Tim Browne out of the side and Josh Morris, Josh Reynolds and Tony Williams coming into the side.


22nd min: With the interchanges occurring there were holes starting to appear in the Cowboys line and the Bulldogs capitalised almost straight away. Captain Michael Ennis picked the ball up from dummy-half and with no markers took a dart himself. As he met the defence he threw a great ball to Greg East wood who slipped straight through a gap. With Clint Greenshields meeting him he got a ball away to his right to Barba who showed great hands to catch it and score under the uprights. Hodkinson converted to put the Bulldogs out to a 6-nil lead.


29th min: The Cowboys opened their account through Brent Tate who benefited from a break down the right hand side. The break was made from 40m out and with open space in front of them the Cowboys drew in Barba and found Tate on the inside who went in to score under the uprights. Robert Lui had the kicking duties with Johnathan Thurston unavailable and levelled the score at 6-all.


31st min: The Cowboys went back to back when Dallas Johnson crossed just minutes later. It was the returning Williams who slipped over in the middle of the park allowing the home side to slip through the defensive line and into open space. From there it was the cover defence that brought down Greenshields short of the line. On the next tackle the Cowboys used the ball wisely and Johnson dived over to score. Lui again converted to put the Cowboys in front 12-6 after 32 minutes.


37th min: It was Kalifa FaiFai Loa error 10m out from his own line that gifted the Bulldogs a late opportunity before the break. From the scrum the ball was sent one pass wide to Barba who simply turned on the pace and slipped through the arms of Tariq Sims and Michael Morgan to score. Hodkinson again converted to level the score at 12-all.


42nd min: It didn't take long for the first points to be scored in the second stanza with Greenshields crossing in just the 42nd minute. An early penalty on just the second tackle after the restart gave the Cowboys ideal field position. On the last tackle Lui put a grubber through and it rocketed into the feet of Barba with Greenshields rushing through to pick up the ball and score. Lui converted to put the home side out to an 18-12 lead.


51st min: Sam Kasiano was penalised for a shoulder charge in the 51st minute and the Cowboys elected to take the shot at goal and converted to extend the lead out beyond a converted try to 20-12.


55th min: Reynolds earned a penalty after Ray Thompson took him out after a kick in general play resulting in a set of six from 20m out. Soon after the Bulldogs put on a set play out to the left that saw Mitch Brown go over in the south-west corner. Hodkinson beautifully converted from the sideline to close the gap to 20-18.


64th min: Off the back of another penalty the Bulldogs earned some good field position. With the home side reeling in defence it was Ennis who again ducked out of dummy-half, handing it off to Reynolds who jinked at the line and got it off to Williams to score. Hodkinson converted to put the blue and whites back in the lead 24-20.


The final 15 minutes saw two further tries scored by the Bulldogs by Eastwood and Hodkinson respectively with the halfback converting both to extend the lead and record the victory by 36 points to 20.


Lui picked up a consolation try just prior to full-time and converted to close the gap to 36-26.


Bulldogs 36 (Barba 2, Brown, Williams, Eastwood, Hodkinson Tries; Hodkinson 6 Goals)


defeat


Cowboys 26 (Tate, Johnson, Greenshields, Lui Tries; Lui 5 Goals)


At: 1300Smiles Stadium


Crowd: TBC