2021 NRL Round 17, Bulldogs 16 Roosters 22 – Report

Brendan Wood reviews the Sydney Roosters gritty 22-16 win over the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs. Here’s how the game went.


Bulldogs 16

Tries: Lachlan Lewis (17, 34) Nick Meaney (48)

Goals: Jake Averillo (18, 49)

Roosters 22

Tries: Billy Smith (5) Sitili Tupouniua (8) Joey Manu (30) Matt Ikuvalu (52)

Goals: Sam Walker (9, 31, 76)

Player of the Year Points

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3 pts – Sam Walker (Sydney Roosters)
2 pts – Jared Waerea-Hargreaves (Sydney Roosters)
1 pt – Lachlan Lewis (Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs)


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1st Half

The first points of the game came in the opening five minutes off the back of a Matt Ikuvalu line break. As a result, Sam Walker created space for Drew Hutchison, who offloaded for Billy Smith to score in his first game back from injury.

Following on from their first try, the Roosters rolled down the field with ease and had their second try just minutes later. A Sam Walker kick ricocheted for Sitili Tupouniua to dive on the loose ball in the in-goal.

Despite going down by 10 early, the Bulldogs stayed in the contest and found a response on the scoreboard. Off the back of a Roosters error, Lachlan Lewis produced a chip-and-chase on the second tackle to catch the Roosters napping and score a solo try.

With the game in the balance, it took some time for either side to gain the ascendency. Eventually the Roosters extended their lead when Joey Manu sliced through several tackles and grabbed a try.

Five minutes later, Manu went from hero to villain for the Roosters. With the Bulldogs on the attack, Lachlan Lewis grubbered for Manu to regather. However, he lost the ball on his way out of the in-goal and Lewis was gifted his second try.

The Bulldogs held off a late charge by the Roosters in the last minute of the half to stay within arm’s reach at the break.

HALF-TIME: Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 10 Sydney Roosters 16

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2nd Half

It was a sloppy start to the second half from both sides as ball control proved to be an issue. The Roosters made two crucial errors, one deep in their own half which gave the Bulldogs the first attacking chance.

With a full set inside the Roosters half, the Bulldogs made the most of it when Nick Meaney ran through a gaping hole in the defence to level the scores at 16.

The Roosters took exception to the score and responded quickly. Sam Walker floated a long ball to Matt Ikuvalu, who stepped back inside the cover defence to score.

With the Roosters clinging to a four-point lead, the rain began to bucket down which once again made ball control difficult for both sides.

Inside the final five minutes, the Roosters were awarded a penalty directly in front when Jack Hetherington hit Victor Radley high. Sam Walker converted the penalty goal to extend the lead to six.

With the lead back to a converted try, the Roosters ran down the clock and didn’t allow the Bulldogs another chance, holding on to record a hard-fought win in wet conditions.

FULL-TIME: Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 16 Sydney Roosters 22

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Match Review Committee

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