|Match Date||25th Feb, 2000|
|Venue||Sydney Football Stadium|
THE Bulldogs took long-term planning to a new extreme last night, announcing the re-signing of 10 players for the next two years while the Sydney Roosters could not look past tomorrow with warnings they'll finish up last if their form doesn't improve.
The Bulldogs announcement capped off a night to celebrate the club's long tradition of player development.
They flattened Sydney City with Brent Sherwin an unheralded 21-year-old who started 'his career in the Canterbury garden at the age of six, starring for his club with two tries.
After the match Bulldogs thief executive Bob Hagan and football manager Garry Hughes announced the resigning of 10 players in a dramatic move which will shape the club's immediate future.
The players include the three Hughes brothers, Glen, Steven and Corey, Sherwin, Barry Ward, Adam Peek, Dennis Scott, Adam Perry, Rod Silva and Hazem El Masri.
"They're mostly young blokes, we see them as the future of the club and we wanted to lock up a core of layers to secure our future," Hughes said. "We're backing ourselves a bit on being able to identify the talent but we think we're going okay."
All the evidence had already been laid out to support that statement but the Roosters were far from okay with their worst performance in the early stages of the season, committing 23 unforced errors, 14 in the first half.
"I don't think our blokes have an excuse in them," coach Graham Murray said after being told the Bulldogs had complained about the ball being particularly slippery.
"I think the players have to have a look at themselves, we're not playing 80 minutes of football."
Roosters captain Brad Fittler was much harsher in his assessment. "If we don't stop playing like that we'll end up down the bottom of the ladder, we just dropped too much ball," he said.
The Bulldogs had not scored until their round three win over St George Illawarra last week but that statistic is just a memory.
Roosters fullback Craig Wing will be looking forward to the same situation after he had further dents placed on his confidence at the back.
"When a player's down on his confidence like that it's our job to put more pressure on him, test him out and see how he goes," Folkes said.
The plan was perfectly executed by halfback Ricky Stuart and team mate Craig Polla-Mounter who created opportunities for the Dogs' first two tries with kicks.
It was the bomb from Polla-Mounter which had the greatest impact on the plot as Sherwin made his entrance with a spectacular leap over Wing to score under the posts.
In the second half Sherwin again left Wing floundering when he zipped past him from a scrumbase movement and ran 40 metres to score. The young Bulldogs player completed his night by putting a kick in for the final try scored by El Masri. By that time Wing had been moved off fullback duties and was in the centres.
Despite all the dropped ball the Roosters were still in the game early in the second half when they trailed 12-8 but tries to Corey Hughes, Sherwin and El Math smothered any faint hope the homeside had.
The Roosters' woes were compounded with replacement forward Andrew Lomu being placed on report for a late tackle on Polla-Mounter.Source: The Australian
|Hazem El Masri||Wing||1||0||0||4|
|Corey Hughes||Five Eighth||1||0||0||4|
|Ricky Stuart||Half Back||0||0||0||0|
|Dennis Scott||Second Row||0||0||0||0|
|Steve Price||Second Row||0||0||0||0|
|Troy Stone||Front Row||0||0||0||0|
|Darren Britt||Front Row||0||0||0||0|