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2021 NRL Round 22, Warriors 24 Bulldogs 10 – Report

Brad Inger reviews the Warriors vs Bulldogs clash. Here’s how the game went.

SCOREBOARD

Warriors 24

Tries: Josh Curran (2), Jazz Tevaga (13), Edward Kosi (21), Reece Walsh (50)

Goals: Reece Walsh (3, 14, 51, 65)

Bulldogs 10

Tries: Aaron Schoupp (4), Jayden Okunbor (38),

Goals: Jake Averillo (6)

Player of the Year Points

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3 pts – Josh Curran (Warriors)
2 pts – Josh Jackson (Bulldogs)
1 pt – Euan Aitken (Warriors)

MATCH REPORT

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1st Half

In beautiful conditions in Redcliffe, the Warriors wasted little time with Josh Curran crashing over on the Warriors first set. The second-rower also started the set with a massive 40-metre run. The Bulldogs did not let the New Zealand sides quick start unsettle them and found themselves on the scoresheet moments later when Aaron Schoupp intercepted a Sean O’Sullivan to ran 50 metres against the passage of play. The Warriors looked strong in their sets but left plenty to be desired with their fifth tackle options with some wayward kicks. Once again, Curran became involved, passing near the Bulldogs try line and sending Jazz Tevaga over the line untouched. The Bulldogs looked to be going through the motions with the ball in hand and were not asking the Warriors defence questions. A dropped ball in their own half saw the Bulldogs gift the Warriors a set, and they made them pay for it, scoring another try through Edward Kosi. Canterburys day went from bad to worst when their kickoff attempt went over the dead-ball line, but the Warriors let them off the hook after throwing a poor pass that went to ground. The Bulldogs then had their first set inside the Warriors red zone after the New Zealand side were penalised for obstruction. They showed glimpses of promise but could not crack the Warriors goal-line defence, with Curran managing to hold up Adam Elliott over the try-line on the last tackle. The New Zealand side went back to work, cruising up the field with ease but again had issues finishing off their sets. Both sides started to make errors, albeit all inside the Bulldogs half until the Warriors looked certain to score when Curran made another linebreak before offloading to O’Sullivan, who then attempted to offload it himself; however, it wound up in the Bulldogs hands. They took this opportunity and ran with, surging up the field and earning a six again call on the last tackle. With a new set and some good field position, the Bulldogs wasted little time getting across the line, sending the ball out to Jayden Okunbor, who dived over in the corner to reduce the Warriors lead to six as both sides went into the sheds.

HALF-TIME: New Zealand Warriors 16 Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 10

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2nd Half

The Warriors started the second half much like they did the first half and almost scored on their first drive when Peta Hiku attempted his trademark flick pass but lost possession. The Bulldogs looked to have lost the ball on the next set but challenged the call successfully. Both sides traded sets, with Canterbury being the closest to scoring when Okunbor dropped the ball near the Warriors try line. The Bulldogs kept the New Zealand side contained but had a poor set once they got the ball again, taking too long to get their kick away on the last tackle, which saw Euan Aitken and Curran swamped Jake Averillo and regain possession. Some quick thinking from Chanel Harris-Tavita saw the Warriors crossing the try line again when he chipped the ball over the defenders early in the tackle count, allowing Reece Walsh to dive on the loose ball. With the game threatening to run away from them, the Bulldogs refused to quit and showed plenty of fight to get themselves out of their own half and looked to have scored a much-needed try after Kosi lost possession which allowed the visitors to quickly send the ball out to Falakiko Manu to score; however, the bunker denied the try due to Sione Katoa making contact with Kosi’s head. Fresh off the penalty, the New Zealand side went the length of the field, and Kosi almost crossed for his second try of the afternoon but lost control of an Eliesa Katoa offload on the try-line. The game settled into more trading sets before Sione Katoa found himself penalised once again, this time for an illegal strip, and Walsh took the penalty goal option to push the Warriors lead out to 14. Another penalty against Katoa saw the Warriors once again in good field position, but they were unable to turn it into points when the Bulldogs cleaned up a Harris-Tavita grubber. Canterbury showed some more fight with another strong set but once again lacked polish with a poor kick. The Warriors were handed some back to back penalties as the Bulldogs started to get sloppy, but they were unable to turn them into points, with Hiku being the closest after being held up on the last tackle. As the game neared its end, neither side looked close to scoring again, and the Warriors held on to win their third match in a row, with it also being the third game in a row where they have kept their opposition scoreless in the second half.

FULL-TIME: New Zealand Warriors 24 Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 10

Injuries

to be advised

Match Review Committee

to be advised

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