SMH Report

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Kickoff: Monday 14 March, 7pm
Venue: ANZ Stadium
Telecast: FOX2 Live
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Muffstar
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SMH Report

Post by Muffstar » Tue 15 Mar, 2011 1:29 am

THEY were more solid than bold but Canterbury-Bankstown can certainly claim a new era. With four newcomers and two debutants, the Bulldogs overcame one of the most settled line-ups in the competition.

And the newcomers starred. Forward Frank Pritchard and five-eighth Kris Keating scored critical tries, Aiden Tolman worked so hard it was exhausting just watching him, while half Trent Hodkinson showed maturity that his predecessor, Brett Kimmorley, would have been proud of.

There is a calmness about Hodkinson's play that is alarming for a 22-year-old half. He steered the Bulldogs around superbly, although the play that probably counted most was luck plain and simple. It came for the key try of the encounter.

Hodkinson must have taken coach Kevin Moore's half-time plea for his players to use their heads literally; Tigers halfback Robert Lui looked dangerous at the line, but he left his pass a little late and it found the head of the defender in Keating. Jamal Idris, who was a handful all night, stormed up field, and the ball eventually found Josh Morris, whose speed was as difficult to counter as Idris's size. Morris sent the ball to another newcomer in Keating, who scored.

But you can never write the Tigers off. With 11 minutes left on the clock, the ball found Marshall, who scored a wonderful individual try. Many have been calling for Marshall's head since his assault charge but when his team longed for a piece of his brilliance he was able to deliver.

But simple would overcome simply brilliant on this night.

The Bulldogs did what they set out to do and winger Steve Turner finished the Tigers off with a late try.

''Canterbury just kept their foot on us,'' Tigers coach Tim Sheens lamented. ''It's not throat-cutting time, but we still need to be better.''

If the Bulldogs were the big movers in the player market, the Tigers were the team that stood still. The Bulldogs roped in the likes of Pritchard, Hodkinson, Tolman, Keating and Greg Eastwood, the latter the only player among them not to run on last night, while the Tigers' only purchase was Matt Utai. He was only sent for following the untimely retirement of winger Taniela Tuiaki.

Funnily enough, though, both sides looked a little lost. They spent the best part of the first half getting not only a feel for each other, but a feel for the footy again. Marshall fluffed his first two attacking kicks, both going well dead, and the Bulldogs almost gifted the Tigers a try when Ben Barba lost possession on the try line; video referee Sean Hampstead ruled that Blake Ayshford had knocked the ball out of his hands.

Neither side was quite there, the best example being Liam Fulton, who may as well not have been when Bulldogs centre Josh Morris steam-rolled over him and ran 85 metres for the first try of the encounter.

Morris can run from one end of the field to the other as quick as anyone. The Tigers can spread from one side to the other as quick as anyone. And after 33 minutes, three beautiful balls, from Lui to Robbie Farah to Marshall and then finally to Lote Tuqiri gave the Tigers the quickish response. Tuqiri scored the Tigers' first try last season, going on to post 18 for the season. He was off to a flyer again.

Marshall's skewed conversion attempt was the only difference between the sides at half-time.

His execution had been equally askew, but he seemed to dust off the cobwebs shortly after the break; he started to command the ball and the Bulldogs afforded him acres of space. In the end, he didn't need much of it to send centre Chris Lawrence over.

The Bulldogs were having problems with Marshall's side-stepping; the Bulldogs were having success with a more direct route.

The man to take it was Pritchard, who represents what the Bulldogs are about this year. No one really knows which Pritchard the Bulldogs are going to get this year, just like nobody really knows how this side will gel.

The signs were certainly good for Pritchard, who ran strong and hard and, after 51 metres, explosively found the try line.

BULLDOGS 24 (K Keating, J Morris, F Pritchard, S Turner tries; B Goodwin 4 goals) bt WESTS TIGERS 14 (C Lawrence, B Marshall, L Tuqiri tries; B Marshall goal) at ANZ Stadium. Referee: Gavin Badger, Brett Suttor. Crowd: 26,737.


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Post by jirskyr » Tue 15 Mar, 2011 11:13 am

That's a really solid report of the game I saw. Good stuff SMH.

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Post by happy tiger » Tue 15 Mar, 2011 11:53 am

Muffstar wrote:THEY were more solid than bold but Canterbury-Bankstown can certainly claim a new era. With four newcomers and two debutants, the Bulldogs overcame one of the most settled line-ups in the competition.

And the newcomers starred. Forward Frank Pritchard and five-eighth Kris Keating scored critical tries, Aiden Tolman worked so hard it was exhausting just watching him, while half Trent Hodkinson showed maturity that his predecessor, Brett Kimmorley, would have been proud of.

There is a calmness about Hodkinson's play that is alarming for a 22-year-old half. He steered the Bulldogs around superbly, although the play that probably counted most was luck plain and simple. It came for the key try of the encounter.

Hodkinson must have taken coach Kevin Moore's half-time plea for his players to use their heads literally; Tigers halfback Robert Lui looked dangerous at the line, but he left his pass a little late and it found the head of the defender in Keating. Jamal Idris, who was a handful all night, stormed up field, and the ball eventually found Josh Morris, whose speed was as difficult to counter as Idris's siz. Morris sent the ball to another newcomer in Keating, who scored.

But you can never write the Tigers off. With 11 minutes left on the clock, the ball found Marshall, who scored a wonderful individual try. Many have been calling for Marshall's head since his assault charge but when his team longed for a piece of his brilliance he was able to deliver.

But simple would overcome simply brilliant on this night.

The Bulldogs did what they set out to do and winger Steve Turner finished the Tigers off with a late try.

''Canterbury just kept their foot on us,'' Tigers coach Tim Sheens lamented. ''It's not throat-cutting time, but we still need to be better.''

If the Bulldogs were the big movers in the player market, the Tigers were the team that stood still. The Bulldogs roped in the likes of Pritchard, Hodkinson, Tolman, Keating and Greg Eastwood, the latter the only player among them not to run on last night, while the Tigers' only purchase was Matt Utai. He was only sent for following the untimely retirement of winger Taniela Tuiaki.

Funnily enough, though, both sides looked a little lost. They spent the best part of the first half getting not only a feel for each other, but a feel for the footy again. Marshall fluffed his first two attacking kicks, both going well dead, and the Bulldogs almost gifted the Tigers a try when Ben Barba lost possession on the try line; video referee Sean Hampstead ruled that Blake Ayshford had knocked the ball out of his hands.

Neither side was quite there, the best example being Liam Fulton, who may as well not have been when Bulldogs centre Josh Morris steam-rolled over him and ran 85 metres for the first try of the encounter.

Morris can run from one end of the field to the other as quick as anyone. The Tigers can spread from one side to the other as quick as anyone. And after 33 minutes, three beautiful balls, from Lui to Robbie Farah to Marshall and then finally to Lote Tuqiri gave the Tigers the quickish response. Tuqiri scored the Tigers' first try last season, going on to post 18 for the season. He was off to a flyer again.

Marshall's skewed conversion attempt was the only difference between the sides at half-time.

His execution had been equally askew, but he seemed to dust off the cobwebs shortly after the break; he started to command the ball and the Bulldogs afforded him acres of space. In the end, he didn't need much of it to send centre Chris Lawrence over.

The Bulldogs were having problems with Marshall's side-stepping; the Bulldogs were having success with a more direct route.

The man to take it was Pritchard, who represents what the Bulldogs are about this year. No one really knows which Pritchard the Bulldogs are going to get this year, just like nobody really knows how this side will gel.

The signs were certainly good for Pritchard, who ran strong and hard and, after 51 metres, explosively found the try line.

BULLDOGS 24 (K Keating, J Morris, F Pritchard, S Turner tries; B Goodwin 4 goals) bt WESTS TIGERS 14 (C Lawrence, B Marshall, L Tuqiri tries; B Marshall goal) at ANZ Stadium. Referee: Gavin Badger, Brett Suttor. Crowd: 26,737.
Understatement Tim we need to be a lot lot better than that to go anywhere this year It may be round 1 but the lack of commitment was concerning for a team that classes itself as brothers Brothers put in for other brothers at 110%

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