By Lars Roy at Leichhardt Oval
The Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs have defeated the Wests Tigers 28-18 at a windy Leichardt Oval last Saturday.
After a back and forth start, which saw both sides adopt a feeling-out process, it was Joel Luani who opened the scoring for the Tigers in the 18th minute.
Although a smart play by Luani throwing the dummy, a barge over try by the Tigers would not have impressed Bulldogs’ head coach, Andrew Patmore.
The Bulldogs only took four minutes to reply however, when Lindon McGrady’s late footwork, allowed him to get an arm free and offload to an eager Adam Elliott, who planted the ball under the posts.
With the score locked up at six a piece, a cut out pass from Patrick Templeman just inside the Bulldogs’ half, put Tyrone Phillips into space.
Phillips only had the fullback to beat and had options through a supporting Templeman, who was allowed to finish what he started. He converted his own try bumping up the Bulldogs lead to six.
Templeman did not need any help for his next try though, which came in the 38th minute. An attacking grubber kick by Jack Madden, was played at and regathered by Templeman, who ran 85 metres to score out wide.
He missed the conversion, but gave his side a lot of confidence at the break with the score at 16-6.
The Tigers came out of the sheds firing, with a huge tackle from the kick-off by, Inno Inosesio, lifting their home supporters.
The Bulldogs showed true class however, by finding the sideline from their last tackle kick, which bounced only 10 metres out from the Tigers’ line.
After three back-to-back sets from the Bulldogs, they eventually cracked the Tigers’ defence in the 47th minute through, Tyrone Phillips, who pounced on a well-weighted grubber kick by Lindon McGrady.
Poor ball security in the set after points gave the Tigers an opportunity, with a scrum 30 metres out from the Bulldogs’ line. Terrific scrambling defence by Ed Murphy however, denied any chance of the home team capitalising.
A line break from Kurtis Rowe in the 56th minute laid the platform for the next try, which was scored on the following tackle by Setefano Taukafa.
A well-weighted, cross field kick by Jack Madden was swooped on by the Tiger’s right winger, who scored his eighth try in the VB NSW Cup this season.
The Tigers continued the roll on, crossing the line only three minutes later through Corey Brown.
Despite Madden missing both conversion attempts, the Tigers had closed the gap to just eight points.
The Bulldogs regained possession from the kick-off however, after miscommunication from the Tigers saw the ball bounce out of play.
Adam Elliott picked up his second try of the match after a bulldozing run from the scrum.
Templeman increased their lead to 14 points after successfully converting the try.
The Tigers had the last say though, when Kurtis Rowe set up a consolation try to John Sila in the 78th minute, which brought the final score to 28-18 to the Bulldogs.
The Tigers will be at home once again on Saturday, this time at Campbelltown when they tackle the Bears while the Bulldogs will host the Jets at Belmore on Friday night.
Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 28 (A Elliott 2, P Templeman 2, T Phillips tries; P Templeman 4 goals) def. Wests Tigers 18 (J Luani, S Taukafa, C Brown, J Sila tries; J Madden goal) at Leichhardt Oval.