2014 NRL Round 5, Roosters 8 Bulldogs 9 – Report

Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 9 (Stanley try; Hodkinson 2 goals, Reynolds field goal)
Sydney Roosters 8 (Jennings try; Maloney 2 goals) at Allianz Stadium. Crowd:12,854

The Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs have beaten the Sydney Roosters 9-8 in slippery conditions at Allianz Stadium tonight.In a gripping contest in which just one point was scored in the second half, the Bulldogs continued their excellent form, while the Roosters fought hard but lacked execution in attack and have now lost two in a row.

The Bulldogs scored in the 11th minute when quick hands found winger Chase Stanley unmarked and he slid over in the corner. Hodkinson converted for a 6-0 lead as the rain tumbled down.

In a close first half in which both sides failed to take full control of the match, the Bulldogs added a Hodkinson penalty goal in the 21st minute to extend their lead to 8-0.

Sam Perrett stopped a certain try in the 30th minute with a crunching one on one tackle 1 metre out from his line, but the Roosters scored their first try two minutes later through Michael Jennings. Maloney added the extras to make it 8-6.

A 39th minute penalty goal to Maloney tied the scores up at 8-all at half time. In a tight first half no side really dominated the match, although the Roosters looked to be the better side in the final 20 minutes.

Roosters winger Daniel Topou came close to scoring in the 56th minute only to be denied by the touchline and some great last ditch defence by Bulldogs five eighth Josh Reynolds. On a night when points were at a premium this play proved to be crucial.

With 11 minutes left, Maloney took a shot at the one pointer but his effort sprayed to the right of the posts. Stanley’s night ended early when he was forced from the field with what looked to be a serious shoulder injury.

Reynolds broke the deadlock with a well struck field goal in the 70th minute to give his side the lead and the Bulldogs hung on for a hard-fought victory.

Des Hasler would be pleased with his side’s efforts as they were playing the 2013 premiers in difficult conditions and boosted by the return of Sonny Bill Williams. Trent Robinson must be wondering what’s happened this season after seeing his side go down by 8 against the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles last week, and now by a single point.

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