The Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs farewelled club Legend Hazem El Masri in style with a convincing 40-20 victory over the New Zealand Warriors at ANZ Stadium in round 25, 2009.
Before a crowd of 41,835, the Bulldogs were never going to let the Warriors spoil El Masri’s party as fans turned out in numbers to pay their respects to one of the club’s favourite sons who retired at the end of the season.
A potentially season-ending fractured eye socket to playmaker Brett Kimmorley was the big downside for the Bulldogs after his afternoon only lasted five minutes, before he was forced from the field following a nasty head clash while attempting a tackle on Warriors centre Jerome Ropati.
After receiving a rousing ovation as he took the field, it was only fair that El Masri claim the opening points courtesy of a penalty goal in the third minute.
Canterbury led 28-4 at half time thanks to three Josh Morris tries within seven minutes before the break sank the Warriors, while winger El Masri delighted his legion of fans with eight goals from eight attempts in his final regular season home match.
As thousands of fans poured onto the field after the final siren to share a photo opportunity with the sharpshooter, El Masri was visibly moved by the moment.
"It can't get better than this. It's just awesome," said El Masri.
1. Luke Patten - Sponsored by Miramax
2. Hazem El Mari - Sponsored by Canterbury League Club
3. Josh Morris - Sponsored by Daily Press
4. Jamal Idris - Sponsored by Sydney Freezers
5. Bryson Goodwin - Sponsored by Remondis
6. Ben Roberts - Sponsored by Reliable Food Distributors
7. Brett Kimmorley - Sponsored by Greenacre Dental
8. Ben Hannant - Sponsored by Hy-Tec
9. Michael Ennis - Sponsored by Workforce
10. Michael Hodgson - Sponsored by TLH Group
11. Greg Eastwood - Sponsored by Guardian Venue Management
12. Andrew Ryan (C) - Sponsored by Dental on Evaline
13. David Stagg - Sponsored by Your Property People
14. Jarrad Hickey - Sponsored by M&J Chickens
15. Chris Armit - Sponsored by Ultimate Security
16. Yileen Gordon - Sponsored by CPE
17. Gary Warburton - Sponsored by Hitachi Cooling & Heating
Round 25 Moment of the Match 2009