Matt Attard reports on the Eels 36-16 round 2 victory over the Bulldogs at ANZ Stadium.
IT was 30 points in 22 minutes that signalled the end of the Bulldogs in their second round match with the Eels at ANZ Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
Despite some good signs from individuals, the Bulldogs failed to improve on their cohesion and consistency as a team, eventually being overrun by a calamity of errors and poor defence.
Instead, it was the Blake Ferguson show as the Eels ran riot to continue their perfect start to the NRL season winning 36-16.
The difference between the Bulldogs team of the opening stages of the match and the one that was destroyed by the Warriors in round one was night and day.
Jeremy Marshall-King started at hooker in the only change to Pay’s side after last week’s 40-6 thumping and they turned it on for the home crowd, obviously wanting to make up for the drubbing.
A wealth of possession and field position saw the blue and whites in control from the get go, although Brad Arthur would have been happy with his side’s defence.
Dylan Napa was a machine in his opening stint, racking up 100 run metres in 22 minutes while Kieran Foran steered the ship after claiming during the week the current Bulldogs side was “as good as any side” he has played with.
Almost a year since his last try, the aforementioned Foran was to be the beneficiary of a pin-point Lachlan Lewis kick to open the scoring, before the best hands in the game, Will Hopoate, put it on a platter for winger Reimis Smith.
Ahead 10-0 and with more than 70 per cent possession it was just a matter of time until the Bulldogs had some defending to do of their own.
Despite repelling the Eels after several repeat sets, it was a rampaging run from Blake Ferguson that saw the Eels beginning their point scoring for the afternoon.
Just one set later hooker Reed Mahoney tore shreds through the middle of the Bulldogs substitute forwards to set up Clint Gutherson and in the blink of an eye the Eels led 12-10. A forward pass denied another try to the Eels before the break.
It took just one set for the visitors to cross the stripe in the second half, as Gutherson scored with ease against a lacklustre Bulldogs side.
Josh Jackson looked to exploit an overlap but instead put the ball on Ferguson’s chest as he raced almost 100 metres to score, before another intercept gifted Shaun Lane a four pointer.
Napa, who made close to 200 metres and was arguably the Bulldogs best, crashed over to earn a well deserved try, but that was as good as the Bulldogs looked outside the opening quarter.
Pay will begin to question some of his team selections as he ponders how to turn around a disastrous start to their campaign.
Canterbury Bulldogs 16
Tries: Kieran Foran, Reimis Smith, Dylan Napa
Goals: Kerrod Holland 2
Parramatta Eels 36
Tries: Blake Ferguson 2, Clint Gutherson 2, Shaun Lane, Dylan Brown
Goals: Mitchell Moses 6
Canterbury Bulldogs:1. Will Hopoate 2. Christian Crichton 3. Kerrod Holland 4. Marcelo Montoya 5. Reimis Smith 6. Kieran Foran 7. Lachlan Lewis 8. Aiden Tolman 14. Jeremy Marshall-King 10. Dylan Napa 11. Josh Jackson 12. Raymond Faitala-Mariner 13. Adam Elliott. Interchange: 9. Michael Lichaa 15. Danny Fualalo 16. Corey Harawira-Naera 17. Sauaso Sue.
Parramatta Eels: 1. Clinton Gutherson (c) 2. Maika Sivo 3. Josh Hoffman 4. Brad Takairangi 5. Blake Ferguson, 6. Dylan Brown 7. Mitch Moses 8. Daniel Alvaro 9. Reed Mahoney 10. Junior Paulo 11. Shaun Lane 12. Marata Niukore 13. Tepai Moeroa. Interchange: 14. Jaeman Salmon 15. Tim Mannah (c) 16. Kane Evans 17. David Gower. Reserves: 18. Bevan French 19. Oregon Kaufusi 20. George Jennings 21. Andrew Davey.