The Bulldogs have been able to find some form in a comfortable manner today, after disposing of a 12 man Warriors outfit in Auckland.
The Warriors lost Australian winger Michael Crockett to a send off after 4 minutes, when the stocky outside back clashed with Dogs rookie Cameron Phelps in a head on tackle. While the tackle was slightly high, the impact point was Crockett’s head and shoulder – and while illegal, there is simply no way this was a send off offence. It seems every time an opposing player is injured from a borderline high shot – the accused is immediately sent off.
Sean Hampstead continued to give the Warriors make up penalties as the game wore on, but this simply made him look even poorer in the whole situation.
To the Warriors credit, they used 12 men and a swag of possession to their advantage, and managed to hit the lead through some impressive tries. One particular try, the Warriors somehow managed to create an overlap with less men, and used every inch of the field to send Mannering over for a nice 4 pointer.
The eventual burn out cut in for the Warriors, and the Dogs began to overrun the disadvantaged Kiwis. Simple handling errors and poor ruck security saw more ball gifted to the Dogs as the Warriors began to self destruct.
The Bulldogs took full advantage, Sonny Bill Williams playing probably his best game in several years and his move to the lock position was an exciting one for Bulldogs fans and local kiwi supporters alike. Williams was at his blockbusting and offloading best early in the match, but as it wore on – we saw a silky smooth ball playing Williams who laid off some nice gap passes before the line, in one instance putting Kane Cleal into score untouched. Williams capped off his man of the match performance with a 2 try haul.
The Dogs halves combination of Roberts and Sherwin really worked today, and we should see the Dogs persist with this option- meaning Daniel Holdsworth will be trapped in premier league in the short term.
Shrek played solidly and put his hand up for Origin, the big unit coming up with some of his fearless runs – however in my eyes, O’Meley shouldn’t be a shoe in for the prop role for NSW. Rounding out the day for Dogs, they had good showings from Corey Hughes and Lee Te Mari, the latter leaving the field late with a knee injury.
The Warriors are left in struggle street now, with fellow losing streakers South Sydney – both teams on 5 game losing runs.
NRL: Titans 28 def Canberra Raiders 8
FORMER Australia halfback Scott Prince steered Gold Coast Titans to a commanding 28-8 win over a woeful Canberra in at Carrara.
Prince had a hand in four of the Titans’ five tries as the home side raced to a 28-0 lead at the half-time break to virtually seal victory.
In-form winger Matt Petersen bagged two tries, despite suffering a dislocated finger early in the match.
He went close to grabbing another in the 75th minute but his arm touched the corner post just before he grounded the ball.
The Titans are edging closer to making Carrara their fortress after securing their fourth win from five matches at the ground but they were disappointing in the second half as they failed to put the Raiders to the sword.
Queensland coach and Raiders legend Mal Meninga was among the crowd of 13,644 to monitor Origin hopeful Brad Meyers but the Titans prop limped off the field in the 21st minute with a right knee injury and didn’t return.
Canberra had no answer to Prince’s bag of tricks as the scheming halfback had a hand in tries to Petersen, five-eighth Josh Lewis and centre Mat Rogers in the opening stanza.
Lewis helped keep the scoreboard ticking by setting up a 19th minute try for recalled winger Jake Webster.
Canberra didn’t post its first points until the 54th minute when fullback William Zillman, who earlier had gifted a try to Lewis after an in-goal error, crossed out wide.
The second half degenerated into a farce as both sides made fundamental errors and failed to complete their sets.
Raiders back rower Ben Jones scored a soft try from a penalty tap after a Zillman break to reduce the deficit to 28-8.
About the only excitement in the second half was a scuffle between Petersen and Raiders centre Marshall Chalk which resulted in a penalty to the home side.
Utility David Myles made his debut for the Titans after former Raiders forward Michael Hodgson hurt his groin in the warm-up.
Canberra was missing centre Adrian Purtell, who was diagnosed with deep vein thrombosis this week, and second rower Glen Turner (back).