Bulldogs win NRL thriller - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Bulldogs win NRL thriller

By Brent Read 09/05/2003 10:45:50 PM Comments (0)

It would have been a great grand final.

The Sydney Roosters and Bulldogs - widely considered the two best sides in the National Rugby League last season before the 'Dogs salary cap problems led to their elimination from the finals - produced a game worthy of a premiership decider at Telstra Stadium.

In the end only a piece of individual brilliance from Matt Utai separated the two sides, the Bulldogs winger crashing over with just over a minute remaining to give the 'Dogs a 32-26 victory over the premiers.

The nuggety winger ignored the call of five-eighth Braith Anasta, who was set for a field goal, and beat the tackles of Todd Byrne and Brett Finch before crashing over in the arms of Justin Hodges and Anthony Minichiello.

"I was looking at Braith calling for the ball," Utai said.

"Then he started blowing up when the ball came out wide and I had a bit of work to do. You get the ball and do your job, just run over people, you know."

The Bulldogs celebrated like they'd won a grand final, capping off a gripping game which was plagued by its fair share of mistakes and some controversial refereeing, but also some flashes of brilliance.

The 'Dogs played down the match all week, but Anasta revealed afterwards their true feelings.

"It does feel very, very good. I'd hate to lie," Anasta said.

"Not only after what happened last year, but all the build up this year. We couldn't lie to ourselves.

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