Monday Memories: Utai Stars with Four

Left side pairing Matt Utai and Willie Tonga tore the New Zealand Warriors apart as the Bulldogs waltzed home 54-10 in their final home and away game of the 2004 National Rugby League match in Auckland.

Utai crossed for four tries, two of them set up by Tonga, as the Bulldogs toyed with a team who ended up avoiding the wooden spoon on differential.

The Warriors' woeful completion rate (16 of 31 sets) contributed to the Bulldogs' first ever win at the New Zealand team's home ground.

The visitors ran in 10 tries to two, with winger Tony Martin getting the Warriors' four-pointers.

It took the Bulldogs six minutes to score, when prop Mark O'Meley crashed over and they had opened up a handy lead by the 20-minute mark with Utai's first two tries.

He had his hat-trick in the 34th minute, and a try to Sonny-Bill Williams, who was a handful all day for the Warriors, gave the visitors a 28-6 half-time lead.

Four tries in the first 20 minutes of the second half then had Warriors fans heading for the exit.

Lock Tony Grimaldi's barnstorming effort pushed the Bulldogs past the half-century mark, before Martin crossed for a consolation from a Lance Hohaia kick with seven minutes remaining.

Utai rounded out the scoring with his fourth minutes from the end.

Winger Hazem El Masri finished with 18 points from a try and seven goals for the Bulldogs, while props O'Meley and Steve Price were tireless, racking up over 400 metres between them with 20 hit-ups apiece.

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Bulldogs 54 (Utai 4, El Masri, Grimaldi, O'Meley, Tonga, Patten, Sonny Bill Williams tries: El Masri 7/9, Thurston 0/1) Warriors 10 (Martin 2 tries: Jones 1/2)

Teams

Fullback 1. Jerome ROPATI 1. Luke PATTEN
Wing 2. Tony MARTIN 2. Hazem EL MASRI
Centre 3. Clinton TOOPI 3. Ben HARRIS
Centre 4. Sione FAUMUINA 4. Villiami TONGA
Wing 5. Francis MELI 5. Matt UTAI
 
Five-Eighth 6. Brent WEBB 6. Braith ANASTA
Halfback 7. Stacey JONES 18. Johnathan THURSTON
 
Front Row 8. Iafeta PALEA'AESINA 8. Mark O'MELEY
Hooker 9. Louis ANDERSON 9. Adam PERRY
Front Row 24. Jerry SEUSEU 10. Steve PRICE (c)
Second Row 11. Wairangi KOOPU 11. Willie MASON
Second Row 12. Awen GUTTENBEIL 12. Andrew RYAN
Lock 13. Monty BETHAM (c) 13. Tony GRIMALDI
 
Bench 14. Karl TE MATA 14. Reni MAITUA
Bench 15. Evarn TUIMAVAVE 15. Corey HUGHES
Bench 17. Vinnie ANDERSON 16. Roy ASOTASI
Bench 18. Lance HOHAIA 17. Sonny Bill WILLIAMS
 
Coach   Tony KEMP   Steve FOLKES