Classic Match: Semi-final, 2003

The Bulldogs thrashed the Melbourne Storm 30-0 in their NRL semi-final clash at the Sydney Football Stadium in Sydney.

Centre Nigel Vagana scored two of a five-try haul for the Dogs, who were on the end of a 26-point demolition by the New Zealand Warriors the week before.

Corey Hughes, Willie Mason and Adam Perry grabbed the other Bulldogs tries, while winger Hazem El Masri managed three milestones during the match.

While he could not convert the first try scored by Vagana after nine minutes, a 28th minute penalty allowed him to record his 1000th premiership point.

Two minutes later, an excellent dummy from lock Travis Norton put Hughes in for the Dogs' second, and El Masri's conversion was his 124th goal of the season, breaking Mick Cronin's (1982 for Parramatta) long standing record.

A field goal by pivot Braith Anasta completed the Bulldogs' scoring for the half, but they came out after the break looking to shut the Storm out of the match and Mason crashed over with six minutes gone.

El Masri's conversion attempt was wide but in the 58th minute a penalty awarded to the Bulldogs allowed him to eclipse Ivan Cleary's 1998 record for most points in a season (Cleary scored 284).

While Melbourne did not post a score against the Bulldogs it was not for want of trying.

They crossed the line on no less than four occasions, including three in the first half.

Prop Robbie Kearns had an outstanding match for the Storm, although he was on the end of a bellringer from Bulldogs prop Mark O'Meley, the man of the match, in the second half.

An elbow from O'Meley smashed Kearns, although he managed to get up after some initial concern from both teams.

The Dogs had many other star performers, among them halfback Brent Sherwin whose kicking game was outstanding, and Anasta, who made up for an ordinary game against the Warriors.

Anasta kicked a second field goal at the death to even up the Bulldogs' score.

BULLDOGS 30 (Vagana 2, Hughes, Mason, Perry tries: El Masri 4 goals, Anasta 2 field goals)

defeated

STORM 0