Bulldogs 52 def Canberra Raiders 4
Sonny Bill Williams was at his unstoppable best today, proving too much in attack and defence for the Raiders, knocking Canberra out of the NRL finals race as the Bulldogs smashed the Raiders 52-4 at Telstra Stadium.
In another match-winning display by the Kiwi superstar, Williams scored three tries and led almost every statistic before he was replaced in the 60th minute to a standing ovation from the 12,127 fans.
The Bulldogs claimed a 10 tries to one victory, scoring 52 unanswered points after an early try to Canberra‘s Todd Carney.
Dogs centre Daryl Millard and winger Cameron Phelps both scored two tries but the day belonged to Williams.
Williams crossed twice within four minutes to kick start the Bulldogs scoring spree and followed it up with a massive shoulder charge on Dobson that catapulted the Canberra halfback into mid-air in a frenetic opening 20 minutes of the game.
He completed his hat-trick in the 55th minute, carrying the ball one-handed as the Canberra
Bulldogs coach Steve Folkes called Williams to the bench in the 60th minute – ending an afternoon of 23 tackles, three linebreaks, three offloads, 10 hit ups and 145m gained.
The Bulldogs scored two tries with Williams on the pine to register the club’s biggest victory over Canberra, surpassing the 46-4 win in 2002.
The win lifts the Bulldogs to fifth place on the NRL table and gives their points differential a valuable boost and ends Canberra‘s chances of making the finals.
The Bulldogs will continue their push for a top four finish when they play Brisbane at Suncorp Stadium on Friday while Canberra will host New Zealand Warriors on Saturday.
Sonny Bill Williams(3), Reni Maitua, Hazem El Masri, Daryl Millard(2), Cameron Phelps(2), Ben Roberts
Hazem El Masri (6/10)
Michael Dobson (0/1)