NRL match review: Canterbury Bulldogs 29 St George-Illawarra Dragons 16


Canterbury Bulldogs 29
Tries: Curtis Rona, Josh Morris, Tim Lafai, Tim Browne, Sam Kasiano
Goals: Moses Mbye 2, Trent Hodkinson 2
Field Goals: Moses Mbye

St George-Illawarra Dragons 16
Tries: Gareth Widdop 2, Peter Mata’utia
Goals: Gareth Widdop 2
Field Goals: nil

Match Review

Canterbury Bulldogs have upset St George-Illawarra Dragons 29-16 at ANZ Stadium in front of 27,291 fans.

In a match which saw the return of Brett Morris and Tim Lafai from injury, Canterbury blew St George-Illawarra off the park in the opening twenty minutes of the game.  It wasn’t too long until they took the lead as they targeted the Dragons right hand side with Curtis Rona diving spectacularly in the corner to open the scoring after six minutes.

The home side continued to show plenty of flair in attack as Trent Hodkinson took a risk by kicking deep in his own half early in the tackle count where Moses Mbye chased through, only to be tackled ten metres out from the Dragons line.

As the midpoint of the first half approached it appeared the Bulldogs didn’t make the most of their dominance.  Within a flash Rona found space down the sideline.  As he approached Josh Dugan in the last line of defence he kicked back inside for a flying Josh Morris to score the Bulldogs second for the afternoon.

Eight minutes before the break the Dragons made the most of an obstruction penalty with Gareth Widdop running off the shoulder of Benji Marshall to score and reduce the Bulldogs lead to four points at the break.  A golden opportunity went begging close to the break with Eto Nabuli fumbling a pass that went into touch inside the Bulldogs twenty.

The Dragons came out of the sheds the better and quickly hit the lead with Widdop and Marshall combining for the five eighth to score his second.  They went further ahead sixteen minutes into the second half when Peter Mata’utia got the luck of the bouncing ball to extend the Dragons lead to six.

Des Hasler somewhat controversially held back Josh Reynolds until the final twenty but it paid off immediately.  The Bulldogs took advantage of a lost ball from Eto Nabuli and in the next set leveled scores.  Lafai fielding a Josh Morris offload as he was falling into touch and placing the ball down on the white chalk.

With thirteen to go Canterbury took the lead with Sam Kasiano putting Tim Browne into a gap as he scored next to the post.  Mbye making it a seven point lead with five minutes left on the clock.  The short kick-off didn’t work out for the Dragons as Brett Morris went for a run down the sideline.  Josh Jackson looked certain to score as he stretched out in an attempt to get over the line.  Next tackle Sam Kasiano sealed victory going over from dummy half.

The result left the Dragons with two losses in the last four matches as they head into their bye.  Canterbury gain ascendancy in posting their second consecutive win and moving to eighth spot.

In bad news for Bulldogs fans James Graham left the field early in the game with a hamstring problem which ruled him out of the rest of the game.

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