Canterbury Bulldogs faced the Sydney Roosters at Bankwest Stadium today after a COVID-19 scare meant the game had to be postponed. Unfortunately, the extra days’ preparation didn’t help the Bulldogs
The Roosters started the game in blistering fashion, as with the first attacking set they managed to pick up a set restart and a penalty to start just 10 metres from the Bulldogs line.
Luke Keary and James Tedesco combined to send Angus Crichton through a huge gap in the Canterbury line, despite a good defensive read from Lachlan Lewis
A few minutes later, it looked as though the Bulldogs would run away for an intercept try through Nick Meaney. However, the winger couldn’t quite grab the ball. After some good ball skills from the Roosters, Kyle Flanagan dived over for a second try after collecting the offload from Brett Morris.
The Bulldogs ill-discipline was hurting them early and with Sio Tauekeiaho grounded the ball down from a crash ball. The gap he ran at was created by a Victor Radley obstruction which kept the gap at 12.
After stopping the Bulldogs easily in defence, the visitors once again showed their attacking prowess as James Tedesco skipped across the Canterbury line and offloaded to the power Crichton who collected his second in the 15th minute.
Just after the 20-minute mark, Canterbury started an attacking set just ten metres from the Sydney line but once again, stern defence from the reigning premiers stopped the home side in their tracks.
Just minutes later, Sitili Topouniua made a huge line break on the 40-metre line and with just Will Hopoate in front of him, pass right the James Tedesco to pick up try number four for the Roosters.
Despite having an easy half so far, the Roosters defence couldn’t quite hold until the break.
Kieran Foran and Will Hopoate combined to give Christian Crichton room to dive over on the right-hand edge. However, Daniel Tupou did enough to drag his opposite numbers feet into touch just before the ball was grounded.
After breaks from both Tupou and Brett Morris, the Roosters were close to picking up try number five.
However, Luke Keary’s high kick was picked off by Christian Crichton ahead of Tupou to end the half.
HALF-TIME: Canterbury Bulldogs 0-24 Sydney Roosters
The Roosters made a number of errors at the start of the second period which allowed Canterbury to spend a few minutes inside their oppositions half.
After putting together a decent attacking set, the fifth tackle kick from Foran was claimed by Joseph Manu, and after just a tackle they were penalised which relieved all the pressure on Sydney.
A few moments later, Jake Averillo made a beautiful line break past Flanagan and raced away. However, his pass inside to Lachlan Lewis was tapped by Tedesco to stop the Bulldogs from scoring.
Just before the hour mark, Josh Morris made a break down the left edge and looked to find his brother on hi inside. However, Christian Crichton dived in front of the ball and broke the play down.
After another mistake from the Bulldogs, the Roosters attacked with their right edge, with Tedesco’s quick pass out to Brett Morris caused Meaney and Averillo to be out of position and Morris offloaded back inside to the full-back who walked over to score.
With 15 minutes remaining, Angus Crichton came close to picking up his hat-trick.
Flanagan’s high kick was batted down by Daniel Tupou to Josh Morris, who kicked along the ground for Crichton to chase. Unfortunately, the second-rower couldn’t quite ground the ball and Canterbury came away with a 20-metre restart.
From the restart, the Bulldogs finally broke through the Roosters.
Keiran Foran too the ball to the line, pass to Josh Jackson who popped back inside to Will Hopoate.
The full-back broke through and with just Tedesco to beat, passed the ball back inside to Foran who dived over.
This brought an end to the Roosters combined 95 unanswered points over three games as Meaney converted the try to make it 6-30 with 13 minutes remaining.
It didn’t take long for Sydney to push their lead back out to 30, as James Tedesco once again stepped off his right foot through the tackles of Raymond Faitala-Mariner and Dylan Napa to pick up his hat-trick.
Despite the victory all but secure, the Roosters were not done with scoring.
Victor Radley bullied his way through a number of Bulldogs tackles, he the offloaded to Jake Friend. After the hooker found Keary, who found Flanagan, the half-back kicked along the floor and bounced perfectly for Brett Morris on the right-wing, who collected and walked in to score.
Flanagan once again converted to make it 101 points over the past two games for the Roosters.
The Bulldogs ended the game with the ball, as Jake Averillo made yer another line break down the middle of the park, but with seconds remaining, there was nothing Canterbury could do to breakthrough.
FULL-TIME: Canterbury Bulldogs 6-42 Sydney Roosters
Hopoate, Meaney, Averillo, Watene-Zelezniak, Crichton, Foran, Lewis, Napa, Marshall-King, Sue, Jackson, Faitala-Mariner, Elliott
Interchanges: To’omaga, Britt, Ogden, Harper
Goals: Meaney (1/1)
Tedesco, Tupou, J. Morris, Manu, B. Morris, Keary, Flanagan, Taukeiaho, Friend, Collins, Cordner, Crichton, Radley
Interchanges: Liu, Butcher, Tupouniua, Aubusson
Tries: Crichton (2), Flanagan, Tedesco (3), Morris
Goals: Flanagan (7/7)
Referee: G. Atkins
Touch Judges: P. Gough, K. Badger
Video Referee: B. Norrie