The Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs have cemented a top-four spot in the Intrust Super Premiership NSW following a 48-4 win over the Wests Tigers this afternoon at Campbelltown Sports Stadium.
After leading 18-4 at the break, the Bulldogs dominated the second half with six unanswered tries and back rower Rhyse Martin finished the match with an individual haul of 20 points.
The Bulldogs were first on the scoreboard in the fourth minute when a shift to their left found centre Reimis Smith who was able to draw and pass to put winger Tyrone Phillips away. Phillips showed too much pace and produced a lovely in and away on the Tigers fullback to score under the post. Rhyse Martin converted to give the visitors a 6 nil lead.
The visitors looked almost certain to score five minutes later when another shift to their left found centre Reimis Smith in space, but some desperate defence from the Tigers right edge was able to stop the 20-year old and force an error out of the Dogs.
The Wests Tigers hit back in the 16th minute when they were given great field position following the Bulldogs being penalised inside the ten and after a tap restart inside the opposition 20, the Tigers shifted the ball to their left and a brilliant cut out pass from halfback William Kitt found winger Ryland Jacobs who scored untouched in the corner. The conversion was waved away.
Rhyse Martin showed great strength in the 21st minute to score the Bulldogs second try of the match. Given great field position after an error from the Tigers, Martin collected a short ball from five-eighth Josh Cleeland to carry three defenders over the try line and score next to the post. Martin converted his own try to give the Bulldogs a 12-4 lead.
Both sides had their chances throughout the back end of the first half, but failed to make the most of their opportunities with errors and penalties hurting both teams before the Bulldogs struck right on half time.
On the final play in the opening 40 minutes, Craig Garvey put a kick in behind the Tigers defence for outside men and the bouncing ball found centre Richie Kennar who collected the footy and planted it next to the uprights. Martin converted the try to give the Bulldogs an 18-4 lead at the break.
The opening set of the second half almost resulted in points for the Tigers after the Bulldogs were penalised in the opening tackle, but the kick on the last tackle landed in the hands of Tyrone Phillips inside his own in goal and resulted in a seven tackle set.
The Bulldogs were unable to make the most of the seven tackles, but in the 46th minute Craig Garvey jumped out of dummy half thanks to a quick play the ball from Josh Cleeland to dive over next to the post and score. Martin added the extras to give the Bulldogs a 24-4 lead.
Three minutes the later the fourth placed Bulldogs were in again when fullback Brad Abbey collected the ball one of the ruck to run 10 metres and score next to the post. Martin converted to give the Dogs a 30-4 lead.
The Bulldogs had all the momentum and in the 55th minute, Tyrone Philips dived over in the corner for his second of the afternoon. His try came off the back of some brilliant work from Cleeland who skipped across the Tigers defence from one side of the field to the other and deliver the final pass to Phillips. The kick was waved away and the Bulldogs skipped out to 34-4 lead.
The Tigers had a chance five minutes later after a brilliant run from Tevita Tatola split the Bulldogs defence up the middle of the field, but a kick on the last from winger Luke Garner resulted in a seven tackle set for the Bulldogs.
The visitors took the most of the 20 metre restart to work their way down field and put themselves in good field position. A shift to the Bulldogs left saw Zac Woolford throw a nice pass to Tyrone Phillips before the winger provided a lovely offload to his inside man Reimis Smith who scored next to the post untouched in the 62nd minute. Martin added another two points for a 40-4 lead.
The next fifteen minutes of the match saw plenty of errors from both sides, before a break from Tyrone Phillips straight up the middle of the field saw the winger put Lachlan Lewis away and score under the post. Martin kicked his seventh of the afternoon and the Bulldogs led 46-4.
A penalty right on full time saw the Bulldogs finish with a 48-4 victory over the Wests Tigers following a Rhyse Martin penalty conversion.
Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 48 (T Phillips 2, R Martin, R Kennar, C Garvey, B Abbey, R Smith, L Lewis tries; R Martin 8 goals) def Wests Tigers 4 (R Jacobs try)