Dogged Canterbury edge out Eels - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Dogged Canterbury edge out Eels

Ian McCullough 23/07/2011 12:25:35 AM Comments (0)

Canterbury produced a superb defensive performance to edge Parramatta 8-7 in extra time on Friday night, handing caretaker coach Jim Dymock his first NRL victory.

A 41-metre field goal from Trent Hodkinson two minutes into the second extra period at ANZ Stadium consigned the Eels to a second successive golden point defeat in front of 15,126 hardy souls who braved the wet and cold.

The Bulldogs, who went into the game with just two wins in their past ten outings, spent large spells of the game desperately defending their line, but showed great character to punish the Eels' inability to turn possession into points.

Jarryd Hayne looked to have won the game for the Eels four minutes from the end of normal time with a close-range field-goal, only for Hodkinson to do likewise for the Bulldogs with less than two minutes on the clock to tie the scores at 7-7.

The Eels had dominated the opening exchanges, pinning the home side deep in their own half, and looked to have opened the scoring after seven minutes when Etu Uaisele touched down only to be denied by the video referee.

A superb 40-20 from Ben Roberts alleviated the pressure on the hosts and appeared to boost their confidence as they enjoyed their best spell of the game with Josh Reynolds breaking the deadlock on the half-hour mark.

Reynolds came off the bench and linked up well out of dummy-half with Hodkinson and exchanged passes before sprinting his way under the posts from 25 metres.

The second half followed a similar pattern with Hayne impressing at five-eighth, with some controlled kicking, but his side could find no way through a wall of blue and white shirts.

After holding out the rampant Eels, the Bulldogs cleared their lines with Ben Roberts' teasing grubber kick forcing Luke Burt into a knock on just metres from his line.

However, from the ensuing set Roberts produced a lazy-looking pass, read perfectly by Hayne who raced 70 metres to score his fifth try of the season.

The try saw the Eels once again step up a gear, but a combination of poor decision making and great defence from the hosts kept them out.

Hayne's field goal looked to have finally broke the Bulldogs' resistance, but sloppy play in wet conditions let Dymock's side back into the game and Hodkinson sealed the win.

Dymock admitted he found it hard to keep his emotions in check after seeing Hodkinson's winning kick sail through the posts and paid tribute to the character shown by his side in defence.

"When you are a player when the game is won you can have some influence on the game, but this week the preparation was the main thing for us and we tried to prepare the boys as best as we could," Dymock said.

"But after the game I felt like crying, it was like I was playing again it was no better feeling, I was so glad the boys won."

"To the boys' credit they stuck in there all game and I think they backed themselves this week, Parramatta had plenty of possession but the boys just stuck it out and it was good to come away with the win."

Eels coach Stephen Kearney remained philosophical after seeing his side beaten in extra-time for the second successive week, but refused to criticise his players.

"There is a lot of deja vu there, it was one of those tight tussles where it didn't look like any side was going to score out there," Kearney said.

"We got bogged down into a real arm wrestle ... I feel like I am repeating myself, but the lads tried real hard, we are just not quite getting there."

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