|Match Date||4th Aug, 2001|
|Venue||Sydney Showground Homebush|
Canterbury has scored an unconvincing 28-14 victory against Wests Tigers to maintain a top three position heading into the final stages of the Telstra Premiership. Fullback Luke Patten and stand-in prop Willie Mason were the stars for the Bulldogs as they struggled to overcome the lowly placed Tigers.
Patten scored two tries including the match winner in the 72nd minute and was safe at the back and dangerous in attack. Mason moved from second row to prop to cover for the losses of Darren Britt, Dennis Scott, Barry Ward and Paul Rauhihi all through injury was a power of strength up front making metres every time he touched the ball.
Wests made the ideal start to the game when a grubber kick from Ben Jeffries into the ingoal area caught Hazem El Masri out of position with John Carlaw swooping on the ball to score. Caine landed a superb sideline conversion to put the Tigers up 6-0.
Canterbury struck back with Darrell Trindall's short kicking game close to the line coming to the fore when he grubbered into the ingoal area with Patten being on the spot despite an attempted trip to score. El Masri's conversion attempt was successful with the scores level. Wests soon after regained the lead when Caine landed an easy penalty goal following a dangerous tackle from Mason.
Matt Seers handed the Bulldogs the lead in the 24th minute when he tried to fumble the ball dead ingoal but mucked it up with Steven Price on the spot to dive on the ball to claim the try. El Masri's conversion made the score 12-8 in favour of the home side.
Glen Hughes who was a late call up on the bench due to injuries to Britt and Scott scored the Bulldogs 3rd try when he ran onto a superb offload from Mason 15m out from the line. El Masri failed to convert with the score remaining at 16-8 in favour of Canterbury heading into the halftime break.
Wests Tigers needed to score first in the second half to stay in the match and did so when Steve Crouch was on the spot to backup a break from Luke O'Donnell who beat the tackles of Adam Peek, Mason and Patten to inspire the Tigers back into action.
The match was hanging in the balance until Jamie Feeney produced a great offload to put Willie Talau in the clear who drew in the fullback Seers to send Shane Marteene on a 40m run to the line to score. El Masri failed to convert the try, which kept the Bulldogs ahead by 6 but extended that to more than a converted try with a penalty goal soon after.
Patten scored the match winner in the 72nd minute when he was on the spot to finish off a break from Braith Anasta who threw the ball over his head but landed perfectly for Patten to sprint away. The General celebrated the try with some breaststroke swimming, which will no doubt feature in the best post-try celebrations.
Canterbury will be happy to get away with the match with the two points and move onto Friday night's blockbuster against Parramatta where supporters will need to book early though Ticketek to ensure they get a seat for the match of the season.
The most pleasing aspect from the match for the Bulldogs after securing the two points was the crowd of 15,153 at the Showground coming a week after a big loss against the Warriors and Wests low position on the table making it even better.
|Hazem El Masri||Wing||0||4||0||8|
|Braith Anasta||Five Eighth||0||0||0||0|
|Darrell Trindall||Half Back||0||0||0||0|
|Jamie Feeney||Second Row||0||0||0||0|
|Steve Reardon||Second Row||0||0||0||0|
|Steve Price||Front Row||1||0||0||4|
|Willie Mason||Front Row||0||0||0||0|