Parramatta Eels have fallen to a resilient Canterbury Bulldogs team 12-6 at Bankwest on Thursday Night.
It was a fantastic spectacle for a Thursday night fixture that could’ve gone the other way as many have this season. End to end rugby league which had both sides looking dangerous with ball in hand inside the opposition red-zone but compounding with errors to see a low scoring affair. A Nathan Brown offload to Mitchell Moses saw the ball move out to Manu Ma’u who went to the line with an offload in mind, to send it back to Waqa Blake who reached out to score in the ninth minute to lead 6-0. Penalties and opportunities being fumbled, the Bulldogs were able to force an error by on Eels in their own half, with a set before the break allowing Canterbury to score through with Kieran Foran who drew the line up to feed into Josh Jackson who then flew the ball out to Will Hopoate to score for Bulldogs making it six all at half time.
More frustration occurred early in the second half with a player from each side being sin binned which allowed for even more back and forth play around the field. Plenty of attack went through Parramatta to have them nearly lead by more, however, the tremendous effort by the visitors in defence along their goal line held on and saw Eels become erratic. The home side on edge, the Bulldogs worked up field to force a goal line dropout which in turn next available set had Kerrod Holland receive the ball on the left to nearly score to pass to Nick Meaney who reached out and place it down with Moses having his foot come in contact which allowed for a penalty try and Dogs to go up 12-6 with ten minutes left. Eels had a couple more chances with the ball to level the scores but the resilience of the Bulldogs allowed them to pickup another victory.
Bulldogs Bust Eels
A defensive effort which allowed for a cracking match between Eels and Bulldogs having so much to play for the home side fell to a Canterbury side strong when it mattered and competing at every play. Early signs were looking as if the Parramatta side were going to blitz the visitors current winning streak to step into the top four but with veteran players like Josh Jackson, Aidan Tolman and Keiran Foran they were able to lead the Dogs to a famous win that had everything in the contest to win 12-6 in a highly entertaining fixture at Bankwest.
Canterbury Streak Continues
The season looking bleak with just over a month left in the competition the Bulldogs have now strung along four consecutive wins that has not only saved their coach but helped their fans faith in the side moving forward with these inspirational victories. The Canterbury team has now ended a ugly run for them, only winning one encounter from seven in the following years prior to this match against Parramatta. Even with two more wins the Dogs finals hopes mathematically are still alive if other fixtures go their way, unbelievable considering only having won five out of nineteen matches before this winning streak.
Sin Bins for Two
There were two sin bins with each side receiving one happening within minutes of one another in the second half, tempers flaring all match it boiled over when Nathan Brown lead in with a shoulder charge on Dallin Watene-Zelezniak. The hit with Zelezniak running out of his end led to a charge and a binning which also sparked a large scuffle during the discussions with referees before. Reimis Smith followed with his own, leading with his head which initially was just put on report but with replays and play stopped he was then binned by referee Grant Atkins. Both will have a nervous wait to see what punishment now follows the match.
Parramatta Produce Penalty Try
The Eels were in trouble in the 68th minute of the match with Mitchell Moses coughing up a penalty try on his line out on the left wing. The play was all over from Bulldogs but second phase footy had them get the ball to Nick Meaney who had space to score in the corner, unfortunately that had beaten Moses who lent out with a boot which had the ball come free to then have the officials deem a penalty try and move the kick into the middle. The first Bulldogs try if not grounded by Will Hopoate would’ve also been a penalty try but was awarded due to that.
Goals: Moses 1/1
Sin Bins: N.Brown
Tries: Hopoate, Meaney
Goals: Meaney 2/2
Sin Bins: R.Smith
Eels: 1. Clint Gutherson 2. Maika Sivo 3. Michael Jennings 4. Waqa Blake 5. Brad Takairangi 6. Dylan Brown 7. Mitchell Moses 8. Kane Evans 9. Reed Mahoney 10. Junior Paulo 11. Shaun Lane 12. Manu Ma’u 13. Nathan Brown 15. David Gower 16. Daniel Alvaro 17. Marata Niukore 18. Tepai Moeroa
Bulldogs: 1. Dallin Watene-Zelezniak 2. Nick Meaney 3. Kerrod Holland 4. Will Hopoate 5. Reimis Smith 6. Kieran Foran 7. Lachlan Lewis 8. Aiden Tolman 9. Jeremy Marshall-King 10. Dylan Napa 11. Josh Jackson 12. Corey Harawira-Naera 13. Adam Elliott 14. Jack Cogger 15. Renouf To’omaga 16. Raymond Faitala-Mariner 17. Chris Smith