|Match Date||1st Apr, 2007|
|Opponent||Gold Coast Titans|
|Venue||Homebush (Telstra Stadium)|
The Bulldogs have finally broke their 2007 duck with a 22-6 win over Gold Coast in today's NRL match at Telstra Stadium.
Coming into the game following back-to-back losses, the Bulldogs scored four tries to the Titans' one, but the 2004 premiers appear a long way short of the side which made it to within one game of last year's grand final.
Bulldogs prop Mark O'Meley did his contract negotiations no harm with a powerful display, the Test hopeful pulling off two bellringers which shook the stadium and lifted his teammates.
He was rewarded for his defensive efforts with a short-range try which gave the Bulldogs a 16-2 lead on the hour, the Titans unable to mount any real challenge despite a late Matt Petersen four-pointer.
Neither side was able to gain any sort of ascendancy early in the match, Preston Campbell's 21st minute penalty goal the only time the scoreboard attendant even looked like being troubled in the opening half hour.
The Bulldogs finally got their attack into gear after 31 minutes, but their opening try to centre Willie Tonga was not without controversy.
Workaholic backrower Andrew Ryan attacked the left-hand edge and sold a beautiful dummy which sucked in Titans defender Scott Prince and Jake Webster as they took out Tonga.
Ryan then found Tonga in support, the video referee rejecting the Titans' appeals for an obstruction as the Bulldogs took a 6-2 lead.
It was a rare piece of effective execution in attack for the home side, young halfback Ben Roberts struggling to impose himself for much of the game and spending the last seven minutes on the bench.
On the one occasion the young Kiwi playmaker did run the ball it reaped rewards, Roberts drawing in a few defenders before some quick hands and an acrobatic dive saw winger Trent Cutler cross out wide.
It left fellow winger Hazem El Masri with a difficult attempt for what would have been his 30th straight goal as he pursued his own NRL record of 35 straight, the prolific pointscorer just wide with his attempt from the sideline.
Cutler completed a double in the dying stages, the two-try effort sure to help him stave off the challenge from Matt Utai for a first-grade berth after the Kiwi international made a strong return from an ankle injury in Premier League.
|Hazem El Masri||Wing||0||3||0||6|
|Daniel Holdsworth||Five Eighth||0||0||0||0|
|Ben Roberts||Half Back||0||0||0||0|
|Andrew Ryan||Second Row||0||0||0||0|
|Nick Kouparitsas||Second Row||0||0||0||0|
|Mark O'Meley||Front Row||1||0||0||4|
|Willie Mason||Front Row||0||0||0||0|