Monday Memories: Biggest Win v Storm

Five wins in six games since Melbourne last succumbed to the Bulldogs had put the Storm in a confident mood leading up to the return clash at Sydney Showground. But an awesome kicking display from Hazem El Masri and a hat-trick of tries to Matthew Utai resulted in a 50-4 drubbing.

Storm coach Craig Bellamy conceded his side "took a few steps backwards" with the dismal showing. Skipper Stephen Kearney said there was a lack of commitment. Bulldog Willie Mason said of Melbourne: "They had to win . . . we came out and blew them off the field. It's pretty pleasing."

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Aside from El Masri's kicking, the fourth-versus-sixth clash was best noted for three blazing tries by the other Dogs' winger, Utai, and the surprising margin. In a mistake-strewn contest, Utai was the difference between the sides early.

"The Bulldogs were as bad as us in the first half," Bellamy said.

Utai took four rivals on a merry dance despite being ankle-tapped in the lead-up to his sixth-minute try, he beat Billy Slater's tackle for his second in the 25th and saved his best until last by taking the ball from a standing start, kicking ahead and touching down in the 38th.

With Utai's hat-trick, a penalty goal and a 34th-minute try to to interchange forward Dennis Scott, the Storm was down 26-0 by half-time. Five-eighth Matt Geyer pegged one back with a 43rd-minute four-pointer but things didn't really improve.

Bulldogs replacement forward Jamie Feeney crossed 11 minutes into the second half and rookie Brett Oliver crossed from dummy-half soon after.

In fact, the only anxious moments for the Belmore side came when El Masri's conversion of the Oliver try hit the right upright, then richocheted off the left before going through.

Bulldogs 50 (Utai 3, Feeney, Mason, Oliver, Scott, Vagana tries: El Masri 9/9) Storm 4 (Geyer try: Orford 0/1)

TEAMS:

Fullback

1.

Luke PATTEN

1.

Billy SLATER

Wing

2.

Hazem EL MASRI

2.

Fifita MOALA

Centre

3.

Nigel VAGANA

3.

Steve BELL

Centre

4.

Ben HARRIS

4.

David KIDWELL

Wing

5.

Matt UTAI

5.

Marcus BAI

 

Five-Eighth

15.

Johnathan THURSTON

6.

Matt GEYER

Halfback

7.

Brent SHERWIN

7.

Matt ORFORD

 

Front Row

8.

Mark O'MELEY

8.

Robbie KEARNS

Hooker

17.

Tony GRIMALDI

9.

Nathan FRIEND

Front Row

10.

Steve PRICE (c)

11.

Peter ROBINSON

Second Row

11.

Willie MASON

13.

Dallas JOHNSON

Second Row

12.

Steve REARDON

12.

Stephen KEARNEY (c)

Lock

13.

Travis NORTON

15.

Ryan HOFFMAN

 

Bench

14.

Dennis SCOTT

14.

Danny WILLIAMS

Bench

16.

Jamie FEENEY

16.

Kirk REYNOLDSON

Bench

18.

Roy ASOTASI

17.

Glen TURNER

Bench

19.

Brett OLIVER

18.

Antonio KAUFUSI

 

Coach

 

Steve FOLKES

 

Craig BELLAMY