FBF: Morris the Star with Hat-Trick
Josh Morris crossed for three tries as the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs made it two from two for 2012 with an emphatic 30-4 victory over the St George Illawarra Dragons at ANZ Stadium.
The Morris hat trick was the high point in a win that was the Bulldogs first over their traditional rivals since 2008, played in front of an outstanding home opener crowd of 29,641.
The first half of the contest belonged to the Bulldog Morris, who crossed for a hat trick inside 30 minutes, while his brother Brett put in a cameo appearance to lay on the Dragons first and only try of the half.
Loose ball adjacent to the Dragons posts in the ninth minute was turned into gold when the Bulldogs put it through the hands for Morris to score a video referee awarded four pointer.
If the first try was a little lucky the second was pure class, with Morris standing up Ben Hornby before stepping his way over to score in near identical position.
Steve Turner converted both tries to give the home side a 12-nil lead with a quarter of the match gone.
Then it came the turn of Brett Morris to get involved, and that he did, somehow slipping miracle ball to put Kyle Stanley over for the easiest of tries after 28 minutes of play.
The visitors joy would prove short lived however with Josh getting his third try just two minutes later, sending the Bulldogs out to an 18-4 half time lead.
The Dragons started the second half in a more positive fashion but it would ultimately be without reward, with Bryson Goodwin out diving Hornby to score the Bulldogs fourth try in the 49th minute to make it 24-4.
Around the same time the Dragons found themselves in trouble with the officials, with Michael Weyman on report for a high shot on Corey Payne just minutes before Leeson Ah Mau suffered the same fate after a hit on David Stagg.
Birthday boy Greg Eastwood was denied a try by the video referee after Josh Reynolds found space with a little under 20 minutes left on the clock.
However the giant Kiwi International, who was elevated to the starting side in place of the suspended Frank Pritchard - made up for it five minutes from time when he scored under the posts to seal a pin point performance from the home side.
Turner converted to finish the night with a 100% record with the boot, kicking the Bulldogs home for a 30-4 win.