Before playing the Bulldogs in round 21, the South Sydney Rabbitohs were able to boast they hadn't suffered any 50-point thrashings, as they had towards the end of last season, but the Bulldogs broke that spell with a 62-12 obliteration of Souths at Aussie Stadium.
Coach Paul Langmack will be hoping the scoreline is not the beginning of an end of season trend where the Rabbitohs concede a succession of half centuries.
Souths had begun well and gave the impression they might be ready to ambush the resurgent Bulldogs.
They built sustained pressure on the Bulldogs try line and a floating dummy half run from hooker Jason Death allowed him to suck in an extra defender and put lock Ashley Harrison into a gap and over the line.
But the Rabbitohs relaxed immediately after and by halftime the Bulldogs had run in three tries, and then followed that up with seven tries in the second half.
Winger and goal kicker Hazem El Masri benefited from the try fest with a total of 26 points that included ten conversions, a penalty goal, and a try.
RABBITOHS 12 Tries: Harrison, Rigon. Goals: Merritt 1/1, Smith 1/2 Sunday 3 August 2003 defeated by BULLDOGS 62 Tries: Utai 3, Mason 2, El Masri, O'Meley, Harris, Vagana Goals: El Masri 11/11
Sunday 3 August 2003 2:30 PM Aussie Stadium Referee: Sean Hampstead Video Referee: Mick Lewis Crowd: 8,482
Leagueunlimited.com players of the match: 3 - H El Masri (Bulldogs) 2 - M Utai (Bulldogs) 1 - W Mason (Bulldogs)
By the clock: Brent Sherwin is a late withdrawal from the Bulldogs side,replaced by Thurston,For souths Lee Hookey is out and replacement is Merritt.
0 Min: Kickoff!
2nd Min: NEWS - Bulldogs off to a shaky start with Patten knocking on in their first set and then doing the same in their 2nd set.
5th Min: TRY - Souths. Bulldogs paid for their own mistakes and Ashley Harrison taking advantage for the first try of the day. Converted by Merritt. Souths 6-0.
9th Min: NEWS - Matt Utai (Bulldogs) crossed in the corner, Video Ref ruled it a no try. Souths 6-0.
11th Min: NEWS - Positive start here from Souths. Bulldogs havent came here to play.
13th Min: PENALTY GOAL - Bulldogs. Souths starting to give a few stupid penalties away, El Masri gets the Bulldogs on the board. Souths 6-2.
17th Min: TRY - Bulldogs. Vagana makes a break and passes to El Masri who is over for a try. El Masri converts his own try. Bulldogs 8-6.
23rd Min: TRY - Bulldogs. O'Meley scores under the posts. Converted by El Masri. Bulldogs 14-6.
25th Min: PENALTY GOAL - Souths. Merritt gets a penalty goal to bring the score to 14-8.
29th Min: NEWS - Anasta crossed by got ruled NO TRY by video ref. Bulldogs 14-8.
35th Min: TRY - Bulldogs. Matt Utai breaks away and runs 80m to score a great try,Bulldogs starting to creap away now. El Masri converts. Bulldogs 20-8.
40th Min: NEWS - Souths had a chance through Owen Cragie but once again the Video Ref ruled it a no try. Bulldogs 20-8.
HALF TIME: Bulldogs got a good lead but Souths arent out of this one just yet. Top Tacklers Souths: Stuart (13) Harrison (12). Top Tacklers Dogs: Ryan (17) Norton (13).
2nd Half Underway!
43rd Min: TRY - Bulldogs. Braith Anasta scores the first for the 2nd half and Bulldogs starting to play well. El Masri converts and that is El Masri's 3rd consecutive season scoring 200 points and over and its now the Bulldogs by 26-8.
46th Min: NEWS - Video Ref NO TRY to the Bulldogs after Luke Patten ran 65 metres for nothing.
47th Min: TRY - Souths. Shane Rigon hits back for Souths with a four pointer but Merritt misses the kick at goal. Bulldogs 26-12.
51st Min: TRY - Bulldogs. Big Willie Mason crashes over. Souths got to avoid a flogging here. El Masri once again converts. Bulldogs 32-12.
56th Min: TRY - Bulldogs. Willie Mason scores another in the matter of 5 minutes for his second of the day. El Masri converts another! Thats 17 in a row for him. Bulldogs 38-12.
62nd Min: NEWS - Video Ref NO TRY to Bulldogs after Thurston kicks ahead for Vagana to score but to no evail.
66th Min: TRY - Bulldogs. Matt Utai barges his way over the line in the corner. El Masri kicks a blinder from the sideline and now its 44-12.
70th Min: TRY - Bulldogs. Video Ref decided to give this one a try after Thurston toed ahead for Ben Harris to cross. El Masri converts another. Bulldogs 50-12.
72 Min: TRY - Bulldogs. Matt Utai scores a hatrick and they seem to be scoring off every set the Dogs here their on fire. El Masri's conversion is successful and equals the club record by Daryl Halligan of 10 goals in one match. Bulldogs 56-12.
75th Min: TRY - Bulldogs. Nigel Vagana scores a run away try and Souths are absolutely woeful in defence and attack today. El Masri breaks the club record of goals in a match (11). Bulldogs 62-12.
FULL TIME: Bulldogs have absolutely hammered a hapless Souths side 62-12. 10 tries to 1 and Bulldogs move to 4th on the ladder and Souths, well they have the Wooden Spoon now for 2003. Top Tacklers Souths: Jamie Russo (22) Mark Minichiello (20) Top Tacklers Dogs: Travis Norton (19) Andrew Ryan, Tony Grimaldi, Mark O'Meley (18).