Bulldogs run riot as Eels have worse start in 52 years

Josh Morris

The last time the Eels started the season with just 1 win to their name after 9 rounds, was way back in 1952, when John F. Kennedy was President of the US – and now, in 2012, it has happened again.

It was well and truly a tale of two halves for the Eels and the Dogs, as the bitter rivals traded blows throughout the game.

The Eels started with all the early ascendancy, and were perhaps the better side for the first 30 minutes of the game – showing signs that last week’s narrow loss to the Tigers, on the back of 30 points in 13.5 minutes gave them confidence, but it was not to be.

In the world of rugby league, things can change drastically, and for the last 50 minutes, the Eels were on the receiving end of it – as the Dogs ran away with the game, winning 46-12, with centre Josh Morris scoring 3 tries.

The Eels start to the game could not have been better, with Eels coach Stephen Kearney thrilled that his side started the game 15/15 with their completions – but he was shocked and alarmed at the capitulation after that.

“We should have gone in at halftime ahead not 10 points behind,” Kearney said.

“The second half was pretty average. We lack the toughness to be able to come through a setback.

“I think when teams play against us … they just think ‘we just have to hang in there and they’ll self-destruct.’

“For me that’s as plain as it gets. We’ve got to toughen up and be able to push through those periods.”

For Bulldogs coach Des Hasler, he was pleased that his side had broken their 3-game losing streak – and he knew that the Eels would come out of the blocks quickly.

“We knew that they’d start pretty quickly, and they did that,” he said.

“I think they went 15-from-15 with their possession and they were playing good footy.

“They kicked us to death early but the boys showed a lot of character in being able to claw their way back in and bounce back to play some really good footy.”

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