Bulldogs blow Wests away with 32-12 win - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Bulldogs blow Wests away with 32-12 win

By Steve Jancetic 30/03/2008 07:00:46 PM Comments (0)

Bulldogs fullback Luke Patten feared his teammates already had 'the return of Willie' on their mind before regrouping to blow a lacklustre Wests Tigers away 32-12 at ANZ Stadium.

Warming up for Friday night's blockbuster against the Sydney Roosters - and Willie Mason's first game against the club he walked out on in November - the Bulldogs ran in six tries past a Tigers side well below its best.

The Bulldogs scored 22 unanswered points after the break to make it back to back wins, but trailing 12-10 late in the first half Patten was concerned his side already had their mind on Mason and the Roosters.

"It's going to be a big game - I'm sure it's one that everyone will be looking forward to," said Patten, who scored two first half tries.

"I was a bit worried that maybe the boys were looking past this game today to that match but we obviously weren't and we got the job done today."

But Patten couldn't resist lighting the fuse for what should be a fiery build-up to a game which could attract a crowd in excess of 40,000 by admitting he was upset with the how it came to be that Mason deserted his teammates.

"I disagree with how it all went down, I don't really have much to say on that to tell you the truth," Patten said.

"I've always been taught if you've got nothing good to say, don't say anything. So I don't really have much to say on that."

The Tigers were clinging to a 12-10 halftime lead after Dene Halatau was gifted a four-pointer when a Michael Sullivan pass from dummy half dribbled across the face of the Bulldogs attacking line.

But it was a lead they scarcely deserved, and the Tigers were punished for their lethargic play after the break.

Bulldogs winger Hazem El Masri, who broke Steve Mortimer's club record for first grade appearances in his 273rd game, scored six minutes after the restart to give the Bulldogs a lead they would never relinquish.

Kiwi juggernaut Sonny Bill Williams then broke their back, a John Morris grubber coming off Williams' legs before the long-striding backrower showed no ill-effects of the calf injury that had him in doubt for the game as he raced 80 metres to score before being immediately replaced.

"We gifted one to them in the first half so it was only fair they gave us one in the second half," Bulldogs coach Steve Folkes said.

"We were thinking about (taking him off) before that actually, I'm glad we didn't.

"It was just a fatigue thing, we just wanted to get him off ... he'll be right next week for sure."

Tigers skipper Brett Hodgson claimed his side was never in the contest mentally.

"During the week we could sense that we were a little bit down and probably a little bit over confident," Hodgson said.

"You have a couple of wins and you don't do the little things at training that you need to do - it's probably a good kick up the backside that we needed."

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