Flash back Friday: Round 23, 2004
The Bulldogs showed their premiership credentials with a convincing 46-18 victory over Brisbane in the National Rugby League match at Lang Park.
The visitors blew the Broncos away with a 34-points second half, after the two sides had gone to the half-time break level at 12-12.
The Bulldogs' attacked proved a much more potent weapon - the visitors posting eight tries to the Broncos' three.
Winger Matthew Utai, full-back Luke Patten and centre Willie Tonga all grabbed doubles.
The win sees the Bulldogs regain top spot from the Sydney Roosters, while the Broncos stay third.
Tonga said the game was a good test for the Bulldogs heading into the finals.
"It's a game that we sort of want coming into the finals. We know that they're going to give us a good run," he said.
"It was just a test to see where we were individually and as a team. It's where we want to be - we want that minor premiership, so it's a good way to get there."
Second rower Willie Mason said the atmosphere at Lang Park, before a sell-out crowd of almost 50,000, was similar to that of a State of Origin match.
"We knew we had to turn up against the Broncos because they've more or less got an Origin pack, so we backed ourselves today and came away with a win because we've got a good forward pack too, you know, and matched them pretty well," he said.
Mason was full of praised for young guns Tonga and Sonny Bill Williams.
"I thought we might have lost a lot of talent with Nigel Vagana going but it just opens up another door for blokes like Willie Tonga, Sonny Bill, and they're just getting better and better," he said.
"Sonny Bill's 19 and Willie Tonga's only 21, so I'm glad they're on our side and they're firing."
1. Luke Patten, 2. Hazem El Masri, 3. Ben Harris, 4. Willie Tonga, 5. Matt Utai, 6. Braith Anasta, 7. Brent Sherwin, 8. Mark O'Meley, 9. Adam Perry, 10. Steve Price, 11. Willie Mason, 12. Andrew Ryan, 13. Tony Grimaldi.
Interchange: 14. Dennis Scott, 15. Corey Hughes, 16. Roy Asotasi, 17. Sonny Bill Williams