|Match Date||26th Mar, 2000|
|Venue||Brisbane (ANZ Stadium)|
THERE'S no better motivation than the representative season to get Wendell Sailor's competitive juices flowing and on current form the big Broncos winger is a special to wear the green and gold in the Anzac Test.
Sailor, who starred in Brisbane's topsy-turvey 10 point win over, Canterbury at ANZ Stadium yesterday, admitted he's been keeping an eye on the opposition for his Test wing spot.
"I watched (Cronulla’s) Mat Rogers last night (against Melbourne) and he had a pretty big game so I knew I had to have a good game," he said.
"I've never seen Mat play so aggressively and I made sure I was switched on from the start today."
Sailor was true to his word, scoring two tries in the first 23 minutes as Brisbane swept to a 14-0 lead and, for most in the crowd of 21,815. put the issue beyond doubt.
His first try came after only two minutes when fullback Darren Lockyer joined the backline movement and passed to Tonle Carroll. who found Sailor stepping back inside.
Lockyer again engineered Sailor's second try when he put in a chip kick after a scrum win and the big winger beat his opposite number Darryl Halligan to the line.
His two-try performance gives him six for the season, already equal with his total in a disappointing 1999 season.
"Last year was very disappointing personally and obviously for the club, but there's been a changing of the guard and now it's up to blokes like me, Lockyer and (Gorden) Tallis to make our mark." Sailor said.
Brisbane remain unbeaten after eight rounds, their best start in their 13-year history, and they are yet to put together a lull 80 minute performance.
Leading 18-2 at half-time they appeared to lose the compass as far as direction went in the second 40 minutes, taking wrong options. throwing unnecessary passes or dropping the ball.
"There were lots of good (individual) performances but you don't want to have that second half of football too many times. If we think that's enough we're kidding ourselves." Broncos coach Wayne Bennett said.
Apart from Sailor, prop Petero Civinoceva produced a barnstorming performance to thrust his name In front of the noses of national and State of Origin selectors.
"That was certainly his best game for us this season and he was the pick of our forwards today," Bennett said.
It was Civinoceva's off-load in a tackle to Lockyer, which set up the second phase for Brisbane to score their third try in the 38th minute when Lote Tuqiri carried three defenders over the line with him in the corner.
Playing catch-up football against Brisbane is a tough ask at the best of times and when you don't make the use of any advantage in this case a stiff second half breeze, you are going to struggle as the battling Bulldogs did yesterday.
Brisbane's first half defence was outstanding and it was only their errors, which allowed the Bulldogs to cross their line twice in the last 15 minutes. In the 65th minute Travis Norton put on a simple hit and spin out of a Carroll tackle and eight minutes later Lockyer's quick pass went to ground and Hazem El Masri toed ahead to score.
Sandwiched in between those tries, Broncos rookie Dane Carlaw broke through some ordinary defence to post Brisbane's fourth try and half-back Ben Walker converted to notch his 100th goal in first grade.
Canterbury coach Steve Folkes said the first half scoreline was not a true reflection of the contest, but conceded the Bulldogs were caned for their mistakes.
"I think four errors cost us 18 points. You simply can't afford to give them (Brisbane) the ball." Folkes said.
Former Bronco Darren Smith worked tirelessly against his former club and was responsible for saving at least three tries, while Norton had a robust game at lock.Source: The Australian
|Hazem El Masri||Wing||1||0||0||4|
|Glen Hughes||Five Eighth||0||0||0||0|
|Ricky Stuart||Half Back||0||0||0||0|
|Steve Reardon||Second Row||0||0||0||0|
|Bradley Clyde||Second Row||0||0||0||0|
|Barry Ward||Front Row||0||0||0||0|
|Darren Britt||Front Row||0||0||0||0|