HAROLD MATTHEWS CUP GRAND FINAL WRAP
|Canterbury Bulldogs - 2009 ARL National U 18 & SG Ball Cup Champions (Photo's : ourfooty media)
|Dale Finucane accepts his 'GOLDEN BOOT - Best Player of the Year' award from Mr. John Riodan VP at Souths Juniors (Photo's : ourfooty media)
The Bulldogs defeated the Parramatta Eels 34 - 22 in a six trys to four battle of the west.
Parramatta went into this game as slight favourites but from the start it was all Bulldogs.
After five minutes of play it got really bad for the Eels. Bulldog Uafu Lavaka streaked down the touchline avoiding the tackles of Kelepi Tanginoa and Sean McGuinness. Near the try line he was tackled by full back Jacob Gagen and ruled to be held up over the line.
Unfortunately for the Eels Gagen suffered a leg injury and was stretchered off. The star representative player did not return.
Some might say that was the reason the Eels lost. Nothing could be further from the truth. Superman couldn’t save this mob from the beating they were to get yesterday.
If anything the loss of lock Frazer Masinamua and half John Asiata from the squad of seventeen during the week was a bigger blow to the team’s chances of winning. Both had been instrumental to getting Parramatta to the grand final.
It didn’t take the Dogs much longer to make up for being held up over the line. Dogs second rower David Minute did a great impersonation of a runaway Mack truck close to the Eels line to open the scoring with a barnstorming try. Dogs 6 - 0.
Four minutes later Dogs five eighth Samisoni Langi put up a kick which Eels winger Tanginoa misjudged and the ball fell into the hands of Dogs centre Villiami Moekiola who scored a try. Dogs 12 - 0.
In the 17th minute Eels halfback and captain Sean McGuinness dummied to the defence ten metres out to put the Eels on the scoreboard. Dogs 12 - 6.
Mack truck Minute was at it again in the 21st minute when he proved unstoppable again eight metres out. Dogs 18 - 6.
Parramatta hit back just on half time when the ball went through a number of hands for second rower Joseph Ualesi to score. Troy Errington failed to convert. Why wasn’t Sean McGuinness kicking?
Half time score Dogs 18 - 10.
The second half started with two pieces of magic play from the Dogs skipper Samisoni Langi that was to kill Parramatta.
In the 33rd minute Langi put his centre Matthew Fukofuka over for a try after a great cut out pass put him into a gap.
Shortly after in the 38th minute he used his lethal cut out pass again to put winger Jermaine Nader over for a try. By now the Dogs lead 28 - 10 and the eels weren’t playing well enough to get back in the contest.
In the 45th minute Bulldogs Joshua Rainbow put the question beyond doubt when he went over for a try to take the score to 34 - 10.
The Eels scored a consolation try with forty five seconds left on the clock when big prop Sione Hehepoto crashed through. Final score Bulldogs 34 Parramatta 22.
The Parramatta Eels tried to get back in the match and they never stopped trying but in the end there was no “Plan B”.
Plan A is for Parramatta to use their size and strength to maximum use and gradually grind teams into the ground. The Dogs tacked them out of the match and in the end there seemed to be no “Plan B”.
I would have liked to see the Eels give their outside men more of a go rather than playing “X” moves back into the teeth of the Bulldogs defence time after time.
Well done to the Eels for getting to the grand final. It was cruel to lose two players out of the team during the week and then to lose Gagen in the fifth minute of play. But that’s footy.
Eels coach Chris Bradbury and his staff have done a wonderful job in turning this team around during the year.
But what can you say about the Dogs. They were great. Not only that but they were entertaining. And for that we thank you.
Bulldogs (D Minute 2, J Rainbow, J Nader, M Fukofuka, V Moekiola tries, P Irwin 5 goals) def Parramatta (V Toutai,S McGuinness, J Ualesi, S Hehepoto tries, J Neale 3 goals)
PK’s Best & Fairest:
3 – Samisoni Langi Bulldogs five eighth
2 – David Minute Bulldogs Second rower
1 – David Klemmer Bulldogs prop
1 – Jordan Malaki Parramatta second rower