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.
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)
|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|