El Masri Breaks Record
Bulldogs winger Hazem El Masri scored four tries and kicked nine goals for a personal haul of 34 points against the Tigers in round 2 of 2006.
Bulldogs wrecking ball Willie Mason made a mockery of Harmony Day by tearing apart the Wests Tigers to inspire his side to a 47-12 win in a fiery NRL encounter at Telstra Stadium.
In a match promoting tolerance and understanding, three players - Todd Payten, Luke Patten and Mason - were placed on report as the latter waged a one-man war on the Tigers in front of a near-record crowd of 32,578.
Bulldogs winger Hazem El Masri scored four tries and kicked nine goals for a personal haul of 34 points, eclipsing Daryl Halligan's previous club record of 28 for the most points scored in a single match.
While El Masri broke the records, it was Mason who broke the Tigers.
The towering frontrower was at his rampaging best, taking the game to the Tigers forwards in the early exchanges as both packs wrestled for ascendency.
His running battle with John Skandalis was a highlight, with the 115kg prop getting the better of his rival in the 13th minute when he barged over the top of him and Brett Hodgson to score the opening try for an 8-0 lead.
But aggression threatened to be his undoing after being penalised three times in the opening 18 minutes for high tackles.
The third one, on former Bulldogs teammate Jamaal Lolesi, could prove costly after being placed on report by referee Steve Clarke.
"Are you serious?" an incredulous Mason asked when he was called out for the tackle.
"You're smart enough to know if there's another one you're in all sorts of bother," Clarke replied.
El Masri extended the home side's lead to 16-0 in the 28th minute when he accepted a Daniel Holdsworth pass and stepped inside Daniel Fitzhenry and Brett Hodgson to score.
A game hat had been threatening to erupt finally did 10 minutes before halftime when Mark O'Meley took exception to a tackle from Bryce Gibbs.
O'Meley, who had only been on the field for eight minutes after coming off the bench, came up swinging after Gibbs caught him with a forearm to the face.
Both were given 10 minutes in the sin bin.
The Bulldogs won the fight and were also ahead on the scoreboard, surging to a 24-0 lead after being awarded a controversial try to El Masri just before the break.
The one-Test winger crossed for his second four-pointer after Holdsworth swooped on a loose ball from a scrum win, although he appeared to be in an offside position.
The fireworks were far from over however, with Tigers prop Todd Payten placed on report for a high shot on Matt Utai.
At one stage in the first half, after handing out a string of penalties for foul play, Clarke was heard to tell his fellow officials "Put your flak jackets on boys".
O'Meley, like Mason, was also fired up and was warned by Clarke on several occasions in the second stanza to keep his cool.
Bryce Gibbs again came off second best against O'Meley early in the second half, stretchered off the field after being flattened trying to tackle the Kangaroo prop.
The Tigers scored two tries early in the second half to raise hopes of a comeback, but the Bulldogs were far too strong, winning their first match in eight starts.
1. Luke Patten, 2. Hazem El Masri, 3. Andrew Emelio, 4. Willie Tonga, 5. Matt Utai, 6. Daniel Holdsworth, 7. Brent Sherwin, 8. Chris Armit, 9. Corey Hughes, 10. Roy Asotasi, 11. Willie Mason, 12. Andrew Ryan, 13. Tony Grimaldi.
Interchange: 14. Reni Maitua, 15. Mark O'Meley, 16. Adam Perry, 17. Jon Green