2007: ROUND SF

vs Parramatta

Match Details
Match Date 15th Sep, 2007
Opponent Parramatta
Result Loss
Coach Steven Folkes
Captain Andrew Ryan
Venue Homebush (Telstra Stadium)
Crowd 50,621
Referee Shayne Hayne

Parramatta have inflicted a slow and painful death on the Bulldogs' NRL season, claiming a 25-6 victory at Telstra Stadium to qualify for a preliminary final against minor premier Melbourne next week.

The Eels utterly dominated a wounded Dogs side in the semi-final, but it wasn't until a 74th minute intercept try to centre Timana Tahu they put the result beyond doubt.

Parramatta claimed a four-tries-to-one win in front of 50,621 fans to move one win away from a grand final appearance.

But, despite the Eels' dominance, it was a Bulldogs error that ultimately handed the Eels victory.

Five-eighth Ben Roberts threw a loose pass that Reni Maitua could only bat with one hand before Tahu scooped up the ball to run untouched and cross beneath the posts.

Tahu threw a superb one-handed pass to fullback Jarryd Hayne to add a celebration try with 30 seconds remaining to cap a wonderful night for Parramatta.

Aside from a fortuitous 35m field goal by Brett Finch in the 51st minute, however, the Eels struggled to find points in the second half as the Dogs bravely kept fighting.

"Like a cat playing with a half dead mouse, they won't finish them," said Channel Nine commentator Phil Gould shortly before the match-sealing try.

"It's torture."

The Bulldogs battled admirably all night, but did so without their biggest weapon after second rower Sonny Bill Williams walked off after just 15 minutes with a suspected fractured forearm.

A Williams offload led to the Bulldogs opening the scoring with a try to Matt Utai in the fifth minute, but from there things turned pear-shaped for the blue and whites.

Williams clutched his right forearm shortly after making a tackle in the eighth minute and never fully recovered.

He tried to battle on but signalled to the bench immediately after his next hit up and left the field in the 15th minute and headed to the dressing rooms.

The Eels struck almost immediately, Parramatta hooker Mark Riddell levelling scores with a try in the 19th minute after he regathered his own grubber kick after Dogs centre Daryl Millard failed to collect it near his goal line.

Eric Grothe scored in the corner in the 34th minute after a sweeping play to hand Parramatta a 12-6 lead at the break.

Williams returned to the field in the 69th minute, but could not spark the Dogs and walked off as soon Tahu crossed under the uprights.

Source: AAP

Player Position Tries Goals F Goals Points
Luke Patten Fullback 0 0 0 0
Matt Utai Wing 1 0 0 4
Hazem El Masri Wing 0 1 0 2
Daryl Millard Centre 0 0 0 0
Willie Tonga Centre 0 0 0 0
Ben Roberts Five Eighth 0 0 0 0
Brent Sherwin Half Back 0 0 0 0
Reni Maitua Lock 0 0 0 0
Andrew Ryan Second Row 0 0 0 0
Sonny Bill Williams Second Row 0 0 0 0
Willie Mason Front Row 0 0 0 0
Mark O'Meley Front Row 0 0 0 0
Corey Hughes Hooker 0 0 0 0
Adam Perry Replacement 0 0 0 0
Chris Armit Replacement 0 0 0 0
Nick Kouparitsas Replacement 0 0 0 0
Jarrad Hickey Replacement 0 0 0 0
Total: 1 1 0 6