Roosters put dagger through Dogs hopes - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Roosters put dagger through Dogs hopes

By Ben Horne 30/07/2011 09:26:54 PM Comments (0)

Canterbury have the talent to still make the NRL finals, but if their 32-28 loss to the Sydney Roosters at the Sydney Football Stadium is any indication, individual brilliance isn't going to be enough.

The Bulldogs were left fuming over a crucial late penalty against Frank Pritchard, but in the end even they admitted there was no one to blame but themselves for letting slip a lead and a chance to move to within striking distance of the top eight.

Thrilling back-to-back tries in the second half to Steve Turner and Joel Romelo put the Bulldogs up 24-22, but just as they seemed headed for a gutsy win, ill-discipline and errors snatched it away again in an instant.

With 16 minutes remaining, a call from the video ref turned a Bulldogs scrum feed into a Roosters penalty right in front - after Pritchard was put on report for striking Jason Ryles with his forearm in the tackle.

Rooster Todd Carney potted the two points, before further penalties propelled the home side to a try to Sam Perrett and another penalty kick which virtually put the result beyond doubt.

The Bulldogs were bemused post-match, with coach Jim Dymock asking if the penalty against Pritchard was for "tackling too hard."

Although there wasn't anything malicious about Pritchard's contact, it deserved a penalty - and Roosters coach Brian Smith said he had no doubt a report was warranted.

Canterbury's anger can be understood given the tight-rope they're walking towards September - and in the final wash-up, captain Andrew Ryan wasn't really going to blame the match officials.

"We played a bit dumb out there tonight, we did some good things and played some good footy but on the back of that we'd make an error after we'd score a try or give a penalty away and then let a try in just things you can't do in first grade," said Ryan, his side on 20 competition points.

"You've got to hang in for those periods like we did in previous weeks at stages but tonight we just didn't unfortunately."

Canterbury made simple mistakes coming off their line after tries, while their back three seemed terrified to catch high balls on the full.

Bulldogs fullback Ben Barba regained some confidence with a scintillating 98 metre solo try in the first half, and another ranging effort from a kick-return in the second 40 which seemed to spark Canterbury's revival.

Last year's grand finalists were still patchy to say the least in defence, but with the ball the Roosters showed what they're capable of.

Halves Carney and Mitchell Pearce combined well, while forwards Nate Myles, Mose Masoe and Aidan Guerra were excellent - Myles grabbing a try and Guerra a double.

Although they're second last and no chance of playing finals football, captain Braith Anasta said the win was important.

"It's important for us to finish strong and get some respect back. We're not proud the way we've performed this year and where we are on the table," Anasta said.

"We haven't reached the expectations we set ourselves at the start of the year but we want to try and get there before the end."

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