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The Canterbury Bulldogs denied a spirited Cronulla side 37-26 in the round 19 NRL match from season 2004 at Shark Park.

The Bulldogs' class proved the difference in the end, but they were made to work hard for the competition points with the Sharks threatening early in the second half.

Winger Hazem El Masri scored three of the Bulldogs' seven tries, while the Sharks managed five.

The Bulldogs made a bright start to the match with a towering kick from half-back Brent Sherwin forcing the Sharks into their in-goal.

A lovely ball from Braith Anasta in the ensuing set of six saw Andrew Ryan crash through a number of defenders to score. El Masri failed with the conversion.

The Bulldogs went close to scoring there second just minutes later when Mark O'Meley crashed over 10 metres from the posts.

But the big forward dropped the ball over the line, though replays showed the hand of a Sharks player may have helped the ball loose.

After absorbing the early pressure, the Sharks hit back with a try to Matt Hilder in the 11th minute.

Hilder put a little grubber kick through close to the Bulldogs' line and regathered to score under the posts. He then added the extras to his own try to give the Sharks a 6-4 lead.

Hilder crossed for his second in a matter of minutes when he pounced on a dropped ball from Matthew Utai.

In what looked like a 50-50 decision, the video referee ruled the Sharks defence had accidentally forced the ball loose and the try was awarded. Hilder again added the extras and the margin was out to eight.

Though trailing on the scoreboard, the Bulldogs continued to attack and were rewarded with a try to El Masri in the 21st minute.

And when Jamaal Lolesi crossed just three minutes later the Bulldogs were back in front.

A second try to El Masri in the 36th minute saw the Bulldogs pull further in front, before a burrowing effort from Anasta saw the half-time margin out to 24-12

The Sharks hit back in the second stanza with two quick tries to Michael Sullivan and Nigel Vagana.

Sullivan put the finishing touches on a blistering backline movement down the touchline, while Vagana crashed over the top of his former team-mate El Masri.

The Bulldogs steadied with a penalty goal to El Masri, before the Sharks' hopes were lifted once again when Jason Stevens crashed over to level the scores.

But the Bulldogs dominated the final 15 minutes of the match to sink the Sharks' challenge.

A massive run from Willie Tonga put the Bulldogs within striking distance and from the ensuing play Sherwin kicked the ball across field for El Masri, who regathered and scored.

A field goal to Sherwin with seven minutes left in the match all but sealed the win for the Bulldogs.

And Anasta made sure of it minutes later, crossing out wide for his second.

Acknowledgement of Country

Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs respect and honour the Darug and Eora nations, who are the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.