|Match Date||25th Apr, 2000|
|Venue||Homebush (Stadium Australia)|
THERE was little doubt in Steve Folkes' mind. After watching his side get steamrolled on their own turf by a Melbourne outfit with eight players backing up from the Anzac Test, the Bulldogs coach was quick to label them the "benchmark" in the National Rugby League competition.
I'd say at the moment whoever beats them will go close to winning the comp, Folkes said.
“Their attack is excellent and if you don't put them on the ground and stop their forwards, they are very very hard to stop, especially missing the number of tackles we did today.”
There were plenty of people querying the Storm's chances yesterday after they rested prop Rodney Howe and had Tasesa Lavea, Brett Kimmorley, Robbie Kearns, Richard Swain, Matt Rua, Stephen Kearney and Scott Hill all backing up from Friday nights Anzac Test.
Those fears appeared well founded when Bulldogs five eighth Brent Sherwin crossed for the opening try of the match.
But the Storm quickly countered through tries to Tony Martin, Aaron Moule, Scott Hill and Stephen Kearney and at 20-6 looked to be running away with the match.
The Bulldogs rallied with tries to Steve Price and Craig Polla-Mounter with less than five minutes left in the first half to restrict the lead to 20-16 and give themselves some hope after the break.
That hope was squashed in the second half by a relentless Storm outfit that piled on further tries to Paul Marquet, Ben Roarty, Matt Geyer and Robbie Ross.
By the time Bulldogs winger Daryl Halligan crossed for his side's only second-half try, the game was over.
Kimmorley turned in another stellar performance, attacking the Bulldogs' line at every opportunity. His effort was indicative of a Melbourne team that were too quick for the Bulldogs ins most facets of the game.
Storm coach Chris Anderson said It was a tremendous effort from his side, given so many players were backing up from an international match.
He was particularly pleased his side had shut the Bulldogs out of the match after they had fought so hard to get back into it.
"It's always tough with a side like Canterbury, you just can't let them back in the game," Anderson said.
"They just showed again today that if you give them one little bit of leniency they're going to be straight back into the game. They fought for the 80 minutes but I think we had too much ammunition for them."
Anderson singled out replacement Russell Bawden, whose recent performances must surely have earned him a spot in the Queensland State of Origin team, as his most damaging forward.
Folkes was at a loss to explain his team's turnaround in form given they had overpowered Wests Tigers at Campbelltown Stadium the previous round and had eight days to prepare for yesterday's game.
"I'll be scratching my head for a few more sleepless nights." Folkes said.Source: The Australian
|Hazem El Masri||Wing||0||0||0||0|
|Brent Sherwin||Five Eighth||1||0||0||4|
|Ricky Stuart||Half Back||0||0||0||0|
|Steve Reardon||Second Row||0||0||0||0|
|Bradley Clyde||Second Row||0||0||0||0|
|Dennis Scott||Front Row||0||0||0||0|
|Darren Britt||Front Row||0||0||0||0|