Reigning premiers the Brisbane Broncos have posted their fifth win of the year in downing the Bulldogs by 19-12 at a rain-soaked Telstra Stadium tonight.
The Bulldogs were first to score through centre Daryl Millard following a period of dominance from the Bulldogs in the opening minutes.
But the Broncos fought back with a try to lock forward Tonie Carroll in the 18th minute.
Centre Justin Hodges then dazzled the locals with a 65 metre run to score and put the Broncos ahead 12-6 at half time.
With the rain pelting down, the Broncos went further ahead after the break through winger Steve Michaels, leaving the Bulldogs with a 16-6 deficit and a mountain to climb.
With 15 minutes remaining, the Broncos took full advantage of the conditions with Corey Parker slotting a penalty goal.
Three minutes later, five eighth Darren Lockyer potted a field goal to put the match beyond doubt.
The Bulldogs brought up the final 19-12 scoreline following a consolation try to back rower Sonny Bill Williams.
Match Details Round 14 - Full Time :: June 15th, 2007 07:30 PM Venue: Telstra Stadium Referee: Paul Simpkins
Canterbury Bulldogs 12 Tries: Daryl Millard, Sonny Bill Williams Goals: Hazem El Masri (2/2) Brisbane Broncos 19 Tries: Tonie Carroll, Justin Hodges, Steve Michaels Field Goals: Darren Lockyer (1/1) Goals: Corey Parker (3/4)
LeagueUnlimited.com Player of the Match 3 Points: Brad Thorn (Broncos) 2 Points: Justin Hodges (Broncos) 1 Point: Brent Sherwin (Bulldogs)
LeagueUnlimited.com Commentary Bulldogs and Broncos here at a relatively subdued Telstra Stadium following last Wednesday's State of Origin. A firey clash is on the cards. Daniel Holdsworth returning for the home side, the Bulldogs looking for their sixth win of 2007. Broncos chasing their fifth win of the year, Brent Tate the only player from Origin not backing up. Teams coming onto the field... A wet night in Sydney. Bulldogs kick off and we're underway!
4 min: Bulldogs getting repeat sets early on with Broncos fullback back Karmichael Hunt being forced back into his own in-goal; followed up by a deft grubber from Bulldogs half back Brent Sherwin forcing a line drop out.
5 min: NO TRY Bulldogs denied. Winger Cameron Phelps forced over the sideline in a try-saving tackle.
7 min: Another grubber from Sherwin forces the Broncos into another line drop out.
8 min: TRY Canterbury Bulldogs Daryl Millard scores out wide following a polished backline movement starting from 40m out. Conversion attempt by Hazem El Masri successful. Canterbury Bulldogs 6-0
15 min: Broncos looking to strike back. A grubber from half back Michael Ennis into the in-goal forces a Bulldogs line drop out.
18 min: Possible TRY to Broncos. Video ref looking for obstruction....
21 min: Now a possible TRY to Bulldogs with video ref looking at obstruction, possible interference, and the put down.
21 min: NO TRY and penalty to the Broncos.
24 min: Possible TRY to Broncos. Video ref looking for offside.
35 min: Still 12-6 in favour of the Broncos. Intensity lifting and both teams now battling for field position.
Half time: Broncos 12-6 Brisbane five-eighth Darren Lockyer thinking of a field goal right on half time but the Bulldogs come up quickly enough to snuff it out. This is a close match up with neither side truly on top at this stage.
For those who follow stats, the Broncos have a slight advantage. For those who follow football, this match is too close to call.
Bulldogs forward Willie Mason was benched for much of the first half, adding speculation to a possible lift from the Bulldogs in the second half.
Rain bucketing down now.
Second half underway...
46 min: TRY Brisbane Broncos Winger Steve Michaels survives video ref scrutiny to score in the corner. Follows a mistake-a-thon with both sides swapping possession within the Bulldogs 20m zone. Conversion attempt by Corey Parker unsuccessful. Brisbane Broncos 16-6
50 min: Bulldogs rookie Nick Kouparitsas makes a tremendous run and puts a great kick on the end to force a Broncos line drop out. In the ensuing set, Willie Mason coughs up possession.
53 min: Bulldogs on the attack close to the line and again Mason trying too hard and spills the pill.
56 min: And again.... Mason drops the ball while the Bulldogs look a chance of scoring. In what might be something of a record, Big Willie has lost possession three times in the space of five minutes.
60 min: Broncos forced into a line drop out following a Sherwin grubber. Bulldogs are dominating at the three-quarter mark of the match but the defence from the Broncos has been trememdous.
61 min: Sherwin passes the ball into touch and the Broncos are off the hook.
75 min: Still 19-6 - the Broncos now cruising to victory.
Full time: Broncos 19-12 A solid win to the 2006 premiers after the Bulldogs started well and the match was evenly poised at the half time break. Outstanding performance from Brisbane forward Brad Thorn who topped the metres gained from the engine room and backed up in defence.