Jack Harbidge reviews the final game of Round 15: Canterbury-Bankstown against the Wests Tigers …
Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 36
Tries: Jake Averillo 2 (25, 49), Jeremy Marshall-King (14), Jacob Kiraz (26), Kurtis Morrin (63), Aaron Schoupp (67)
Goals: Matt Burton 6 (15, 27, 51, 55, 65, 69)
Wests Tigers 12
Tries: David Nofoaluma (17), James Tamou (79)
Goals: Luke Brooks (18, 79)
MATCH REPORTEmbed from Getty Images
The game got off to a staggered start after Alex Twal had a nasty head knock just over three minutes in. The Wests Tigers prop had an obvious concussion after heavy head contact with the ground and was taken off via medicab, with the game stopping for a number of minutes. When play resumed the two sides traded sets for the following 10 minutes, before Jeremy Marshall-King broke the deadlock for the Canterbury Bulldogs in the 14th minute.
The Bulldogs’ lead didn’t last long however, with David Nofoaluma producing a near-impossible effort to finish off a cross-field kick. Luke Brooks was able to convert from a tough angle and the scores were level with a quarter of the game played. The Bulldogs looked the more dangerous of the two sides throughout the half and made the Tigers pay a short time later, with Jake Averillo getting over with 27 minutes gone.
Canterbury nearly doubled their lead shortly after, with Josh Ado-Carr and Matt Burton making a break down the left edge, only for Nofoaluma to clean up at the back for a goal-line drop-out. Nothing came of the pressure off the ensuing drop-out but the Bulldogs continued to win the arm wrestle for the rest of the half, but were unable to convert it into any points.
HALF-TIME: Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 12 Wests Tigers 6Embed from Getty Images
The second-half kicked off with the Wests Tigers mounting somewhat of a resistance to the Bulldogs’ incessant pressure through the first half, though they couldn’t capitalise on any pressure they made early in the half as a result of appalling fifth tackle options.
Instead, the Bulldogs got back on top just under 10 minutes into the half with Jake Averillo crossing off the back of another troublesome bomb from Matt Burton. Jacob Kiraz soon backed up with a try of his own, carving through the lacklustre Tigers defence who appeared to have all but given up. The two sides traded sets for the following 10 minutes before Kurtis Morrin went untouched through the heart of the Tigers’ defence to score on debut.
The Tigers’ woes continued as the free-flowing Bulldogs continued to dazzle – this time in defence – where Aaron Schoupp read Jackson Hastings’ pass to perfection to intercept and go the length of the pitch to score and further bury the Tigers. The Bulldogs had yet more chances to extend their winning margin at the back end of the game but couldn’t convert, and the Wests Tigers grabbed a consolation try of their own instead through James Tamou.
FULL-TIME: Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 36 Wests Tigers 12
PLAYER OF THE YEAR POINTSEmbed from Getty Images
3 pts – Matt Burton (Bulldogs), 2 pts – Jake Averillo (Bulldogs), 1 pt – Tevita Pangai Junior (Bulldogs)
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