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globalrugbyleague - Sat, 05 Apr 2008 08:43:00 GMT
In a game that promised a lot of bite it was the Bulldogs who got mauled, beaten comprehensively by their archenemies the roosters, 40-12 in front of 37000 fans at ANZ Stadium.

Former Bulldogs front man Willie Mason was the biggest tormentor, capping off an excellent performance by grabbing two tries.

Despite the pressure and hype generated throughout the week, it was Mason who backed his words and now believes the Roosters are looking like a winning outfit.

“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,” he said.

“It’s only round four, that win’s (the stuff) of real contender and you have a chance of winning the comp.

“It’s early times yet but it’s the makings of a really good side.”

And if the loss of big Willie wasn’t hard enough pill for the Belmore based side to swallow, another former Bulldog Braith Anasta was also a constant thorn in their side.

The Roosters pivot’s high bombs caused all sorts of problems for Canterbury’s back three, with a couple leading to tries.

But the Bulldogs never matched their opponents in intensity or skill.

The match was evenly poised until 19 minutes in when Willie Mason broke all Bulldogs supporters’ hearts by running hard and straight onto a short ball to open the scoring.

Short later the Roosters were up 12-0 when a high bomb from Anasta was poorly dealt with and duly punished by winger Amos Roberts.

Growing in confidence, the Bulldogs would have to try and keep their opponents at bay until half time if they wanted to stay in the contest, but the cagey Roosters would have none of it.

A perfectly weighted chip kick aimed at half back Mitchell Pierce saw the tri-colours lead comfortably 20-0 at half time.

The Bulldogs fans knew they needed to see a big second half performance if their team was to turn this one around, but just like the mad rush supporters witnessed to get to the game, all they saw was one way traffic.

Just like a proficient vampire slayer, Willie Mason drove a second stake into the hearts of all Bulldogs supporters when he scored his second try almost immediately after the restart, a four-pointer reminiscent of his first half effort.

But on this night the Roosters could do no wrong. On 65 minutes, a wild cross field kick from Anasta seemed like it was heading straight over the sideline until it was miraculously kept in the field of play only to find the hands of Seitamata Sa who found a patch of grass between the defender and the out in goal area to extend their lead.

It was an embarrassing 30-0 and an hour gone on the clock before the Bulldogs’ fans got any value from their entry ticket, but by that stage their was no evidence of the 36-and-a-half thousand fans who walked through the turnstiles, with most dejected supporters heading for an early night home.

Hooker Glenn Hughes added a second shortly afterwards to send the Bulldogs into double digits, but the Roosters were to have the last laugh as more defensive errors saw the score blow out to an astonishing 40 points.

After the match, there was no signs of the grudge match which was so intensely hyped, with Bulldog Sonny Bill Williams and Roosters enforcer Willie Mason sharing a hearty embrace. Did Canterbury make a mistake in letting Willie Mason go? Share your thoughts via our contact form or on the forum.
roosters 40 (W Mason 2 A Roberts M Pearce C Fitzgibbon S Sa S Kenny-Dowall tries C Fitzgibbon 5 A Roberts goals) Bulldogs 12 (B Roberts C Hughes tries H El Masri 2 goals) at ANZ Stadium. Referee: Tony Archer Crowd: 36,526 Penalties: Roosters 8-5 Half-time: Roosters 20-0 - Read More, Here