Roosters rout Bulldogs 40-12 - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Roosters rout Bulldogs 40-12

By Steve Jancetic 04/04/2008 11:01:58 PM Comments (0)

Sydney Roosters star Willie Mason pulverised his former club then declared the tri-colours NRL premiership contenders after the Chooks hammered the Bulldogs 40-12 at ANZ Stadium.

Having talked the talk during the week, Mason walked the walk, scoring two tries to punctuate a barnstorming performance.

With former Dog Braith Anasta orchestrating the attack like never before in his career and a defensive line that withstood an opening 20-minute onslaught from the Bulldogs, Mason said the Roosters had the makings of a side capable of going all the way.

"I've played in some really good sides at the Bulldogs and that's the sort of mentality that we have in that side here," Mason said of the Roosters.

"It's only round four, that win's (the stuff) of real contenders and you have a chance of winning the comp.

"It's early times yet but it's the makings of a really good side."

Mason broke the hearts of the fans that once adored him when he went over in the 19th minute and, by the time he'd scored his second seven minutes after the restart, the fans - part of a record crowd of 36, 526 for a Sydney NRL game - were heading for the exits.

That trickle became a stream by the hour, Mason given an early mark and the Roosters up 30-0.

Mason said he was glad to get the game, which had endured a massive build-up, out of the way while the anticipated fireworks between he and former Bulldogs teammate Sonny Bill Williams failed to eventuate.

"Hopefully both parties can move on, it was something that we couldn't tip-toe around and it was a lot of pressure this week," Mason said.

"Our boys got challenged, not just me, and I'm that proud of our guys.

"It wasn't a Sonny v Willie game ... we needed our teammates to help us."

Of the opening try, which he savoured for a while as he gazed into the stands, Mason said: "You think of that all week. Big games - you have self doubt and you're up and down.

"I knew that when the time came I was going to come out and deliver."

If Mason was the hammer that pulverised the Bulldogs, Anasta was the dagger.

His pinpoint kicking game mesmerised the home side, wingers Hazem El Masri and Heka Nanai likely to have recurring nightmares of Anasta bombs raining on them.

Amos Roberts, Mitchell Pearce, Craig Fitzgibbon and Seitamata Sa all scored on the back of Anasta kicks that were either fumbled or simply let go; the shellshocked Bulldogs unable to stem the tide until Ben Roberts went over in the 61st minute.

The final half hour was more a procession than battle as both sides traded tries at regular intervals, Mason and Williams embracing after the final hooter to suggest rumours of a falling out between the pair may have been off the mark.

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