Bulldogs hang on against Dragons - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Bulldogs hang on against Dragons

17/05/2003 07:32:39 PM Comments (0)

A two-try burst from the Bulldogs on the stroke of halftime proved the difference as they held off a brave second half fightback from St George Illawarra to score a 18-16 win in their National Rugby League game at WIN Stadium.

The Bulldogs scored through young centre Ben Harris in the 38th and 40th minutes of the opening half to take an 18-4 lead into halftime.

That proved enough as they fended off a second half onslaught from the Dragons to pick up their sixth win of the season, and third in succession.

The game was not without its controversy, with the Bulldogs benefiting from a call from touch judge Steve Nash which proved the catalyst for their late first half double.

With the Bulldogs leading 6-4 with only two minutes remaining in the half, Nash raced on to report a late hit by Dragons captain Lance Thompson on halfback Brent Sherwin after the crafty No.7 had kicked ahead.

Thompson appeared to hold his ground, but referee Paul Simpkins awarded the penalty and one play later Harris scored off a Travis Norton pass, El Masri converting to make the score 10-4.

A minute later and with the halftime siren about to sound, Harris found himself on the end of a sweeping backline to score in the corner, El Masri again converting to make the lead 18-4 at the break.

The Dragons closed to within two points with five minutes remaining in a wild second half when Shaun Timmins kicked and re-gathered, video referee Phil Cooley awarding the try.

But they ran out of time and suffered their second defeat in a row, much to the chagrin of the 11,555 spectators who braved the cold and wet conditions.

In an enthralling second stanza, St George Illawarra halfback Matthew Head was involved in a heavy collision with Bulldogs fullback Luke Patten and vomited twice on the field.

Then Bulldogs captain Steve Price needed treatment after a head clash with teammate Corey Hughes in the 50th minute.

Five minutes later the Dragons found a much-needed reply, veteran lock John Cross running onto a Brett Firman pass to score beside the posts, Amos Roberts converting to make the score 18-10.

They then spurned three chances to narrow the gap before Timmins scored.

Dragons captain Trent Barrett did not play because of an ankle injury he picked up in the City-Country game.

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