|Match Date||8th Jul, 2000|
|Venue||Melbourne (Olympic Park)|
PETER "Bullfrog" Moore, as he had done many times in the past, proved the inspiration for the Bulldogs as they savaged Melbourne Storm on Saturday.
The loss of Moore, who died last week after a long battle with cancer, came as two of his sons in-law, Steve Folkes and Chris Anderson, prepared to face each other as opposing coaches.
And while Moore had a foot in both camps, being involved with the Storm's foundation in Melbourne, Anderson admitted seeing his beloved Bulldogs win would have made Bullfrog happy.
Folkes said his team had been deeply affected by the loss of the man who has been synonymous with the Bulldogs club for more than 25 years, and would dedicate the two competition points to Moore.
The loss of his father-in-law was still clearly having an affect on Folkes after the game.
He paused to hold in his emotions as he recalled how his team had been inspired by the loss of the club's patriarch.
"I was keen for it to affect the way things went." Folkes said. "It had a pretty strong affect on the guys today. We will dedicate the two points to 'Bullfrog'.
"I am sure he was watching, and he would be pretty happy at the moment."
Knowing Moore would be pleased was the only high point of the afternoon for Anderson, who blasted his team as inept following a loss he described as the worst in the Storm's three-year history.
The Bulldogs scored their first try after only two minutes, exploiting the loss of Storm centre Tony Martin, who had withdrawn minutes before kick-off and been replaced by backrower Russell Bawden.
A neat short ball from Glen Hughes put Darren Smith and the Bulldogs on their way —Smith for the first of his two tries — to a 40-minute rampage that would see them take a 24-6 lead at half-time.
Smith's try also gave points-scoring machine Daryl Halligan the conversion he needed to become the first man in the competition's history to break through the 2000 barrier.
The Storm fought back gamely in the second half, and looked a chance of stealing an undeserved win when they trailed 24-16 with 23 minutes remaining.
But a field goal from Brent Sherwin saw the Dogs kick away again. consigning Melbourne to only their second loss at home this season.
A furious Anderson said the saga surrounding Brett Kimmorley's imminent departure to Northern Eagles had troubled his team.
"It does affect the unit when you lose a good player." Anderson said. "He chose not to be a part of the unit.
"It is something that has been dragging on for a while, and the blokes were hoping he was going to stay.
"We have a fairly tight group here, and that can be your greatest strength and your greatest weakness. It has to have an affect. The shock of the news made it hard for the players to focus on football.
"It has affected the group, but I am not about to throw it all on him for that. It was a fairly inept performance, the worst performance in three years and we got what we deserved.
"As a club we learned a hard lesson about how to handle things better.
"There was no tiger in the tank. We were as soft as. Our defence in the first half was woeful. We were totally disorganised.
"It was one of those days where we should have stayed home. We should give the people who turned up their money back. There was not one bloke out there who could hold his head up today."
Folkes said he "could not care" whether Kimmorley's decision had upset the Storm, but he questioned why his own players could not produce similar form six weeks ago, when their play-off hopes were still alive.
"I just wonder where that's been for the last five or six weeks. I can't remember the last time we scored 31 points." Folkes said.
"It is frustrating. but we need to be positive. We have three games to go and we are aiming to win all of them."Source: The Australian
|Hazem El Masri||Fullback||0||0||0||0|
|Brent Sherwin||Five Eighth||0||0||1||1|
|Corey Hughes||Half Back||0||0||0||0|
|Steve Reardon||Second Row||1||0||0||4|
|Jamie Feeney||Second Row||0||0||0||0|
|Steve Price||Front Row||0||0||0||0|
|Darren Britt||Front Row||0||0||0||0|