The Bulldogs have tonight showed too much class for the Eels winning 40-12 in front of 23,341 fans at ANZ Stadium.


The home side simply had too much class and after running out to a 16-nil lead after eight minutes, the rest was just a matter of business.


In the end it was seven tries to two with the Eels two tries coming in the final 11 minutes with the Bulldogs having taken their foot right off the pedal.


Coach Des Hasler opted for just the one change to the side he selected at the start of the week with Josh Jackson being brought into the starting side and Tony Williams being relegated back to the interchange bench in his 100th NRL match.


The Eels started proceedings and chose to go for the short kick-off but centre Krisnan Inu was up to the task and took the ball smartly. From there the Bulldogs used the ball with care but a smart mid-field bomb was put up and some great pressure from Josh Reynolds forced the mistake from the Eels and from there the Bulldogs shifted the ball to the right with Sam Perrett being the benefactor who went over in the north-east corner. Hodkinson couldnt convert with his attempt hitting the upright and the score 4-nil after two minutes.


It didnt take long for the score to be added to with Reynolds crossing in the home sides next set after the Eels kicked out on the full from the restart. This was a more constructed play that we are used to seeing with the ball going through the hands of Tolman, Jackson and then on to Reynolds who had a gap in front of him and he accepted the challenge, sliding through to cross for his seventh try of the season. Hodkinson converted on this occasion extending the lead out to 10-nil.


The next set saw more points scored, this time through fullback Ben Barba. This came from the fullback just having too much foot speed for his opposition and he slipped through and managed to reach out and score. It ended badly for the blue and whites with Barba then being brought from the field with an ankle injury. The Mackay product did not return and was set down to have scans on Saturday morning. Hodkinson converted to put the lead out to 16-nil after just 10 minutes of play.


There was just one more try in the opening 40 minutes with Kiama junior Josh Morris crossing in the 20th minute. The Eels were reeling in defence and it was the boot of Hodkinson that sent a deft grubber through and it was Morris who had too much pace and grabbed the ball to score. The halfback converted to make the score 22-nil.


The remainder of the half saw the Bulldogs continue to dominate but they were unable to extend the lead.


The Eels didnt take any inspiration from the half-time talk with the Bulldogs coming out and continuing with their total domination chalking up another three tries in the opening 20 minutes of the second stanza. The first came in the 43rd with Englishman James Graham registering his first NRL try. The second and sixth of the night went to Captain Michael Ennis. It was some smart play with the hooker darting down the short side, passing it out to Morris but then trailing behind to receive the ball once more and score. The third was another first timer, this time Dale FInucane who showed a great amount of strength to bump off Fuifui Moimoi and score. Hodkinson all three with the score at 40-0 after 59 minutes of play.


The Eels scored two late consolation tries in the 69th and 80th minutes with both being converted and the final score left at 40-12.


BULLDOGS 40 (Perrett, Reynolds, Barba, Morris, Graham, Ennis, Finucane, Ennis Tries; Hodkinson 6 Goals)


Def.


EELS 12 (Roberts, Radradra Tries; Mullaney 2 Goals)


Crowd: 23,341


At: ANZ Stadium