The Canterbury Bulldogs have scored a last minute converted try to snatch a thrilling 28-26 victory over the Penrith Panthers at CUA Stadium.
With 90 seconds remaining on the clock Ben Roberts threw a dummy to break through and score from 10m out. With scores locked Hazem El Masri shattered Penrith fans as he made no mistake with the conversion 8m in from the left touch line.
Canterbury started off the better side as Brett Kimmorley capitalised on a short side break to score his first points for the Belmore club.
It took a spectacular offload from Penrith captain Petero Civoniceva to spark his team into life as Paul Aiton dived over to level the scores.
The Panthers held the ascendency for the remainder of the half as Brad Tighe finished brilliantly to give Penrith the lead. David Stagg scored his first try for the Dogs to close the difference to just two points but the Panthers hit staight back through Trent Waterhouse. Lewis fired a line ball to Waterhouse who juggled it three times before crashing over the line to give Penrith a 20-12 lead at half time.
The Bulldogs were the first to score in the second half as Jamal Idris finished off a David Stagg break and mid-week signing Greg Eastwood gave Canterbury the lead 5 minutes later when he scored adjacent to the posts. Eastwood who has had just two training sessions with the Belmore club showed good hands to pick up an Ennis grubber to score.
Trent Waterhouse - who put in an impressive display - exposed some poor goal-line defence from the Bulldogs to give Penrith the lead in the 71st minute. The big backrower crashed over for his double and Michael Gordon converted to give the Panthers a four point lead.
Just as the Dogs looked all but gone they made inroads downfield and Ben Roberts finished off a sweeping movement to send the strong away showing of Bulldogs fans into raptures. Hazem El Masri bent the conversion through the sticks to sink the Panthers who put in a spririted performance.
On the injury front Gary Warburton came off for the Bulldogs in the 20th minute and was rushed to hospital with a possible neck injury.
Match Summary Canterbury Bulldogs 28 def Penrith Panthers 26 Round 2 - Saturday March 21st, 2009 7:30pm Venue: CUA Stadium, Penrith Crowd: 16,846 Referee: Matt Cecchin & Chris James Touch Judges: Peter Kirby & Russell Turner Video Ref: Steve Clark Halftime: Panthers 20-12 Penrith Panthers 26 Tries: Trent Waterhouse (2), Paul Aiton, Brad Tighe Goals: Michael Gordon (5/5) Canterbury Bulldogs 28 Tries: Brett Kimmorley, David Stagg, Jamal Idris, Greg Eastwood, Ben Roberts Goals: Hazem El Masri (4/5) LeagueUnlimited.com Player of the Match 3 Points: Trent Waterhouse (Panthers) 2 Points: David Stagg (Bulldogs) 1 Point: Brett Kimmorley (Bulldogs) LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary
Hello and welcome to tonight's live coverage of the match between the Penrith Panthers and the Canterbury Bulldogs.
A few changes for each team due to injury.
For the Panthers Shane Elford is out which means Gavin Cooper moves from the second row to the centres with Brad Tighe shifting to the wing. Matthew Bell comes off the bench into the back row and Wade Grahem drops off the extended bench.
For the Bulldogs Michael Hodgson is out which sees Chris Armit come off the bench to start in the frontrow. New signing Greg Eastwood will makes his debut off the bench in jersey no. 21.
Following these changes the teams will line-up as such;
PANTHERS: 1. Lachlan Coote 2. Michael Gordon 3. Michael Jennings 12. Gavin Cooper 4. Brad Tighe 6. Luke Lewis 7. Jarrod Sammut 8. Tim Grant 9. Paul Aiton 10. Petero Civoniceva 11. Trent Waterhouse 18. Matthew Bell 13. Nathan Smith Interchange: 14. Frank Pritchard 15. Adam Woolnough 16. Frank Puletua 17. Masada Iosefa
BULLDOGS: 1. Luke Patten 2. Hazem El Masri 3. Josh Morris 4. Jamal Idris 5. Bryson Goodwin 6. Ben Roberts 7. Brett Kimmorley 8. Ben Hannant 9. Mick Ennis 15. Chris Armit 11. Gary Warburton 12. Andrew Ryan 13. David Stagg Interchange: 14. Lee Te Maari 16. John Kite 17. Ben Barba 21. Greg Eastwood
1 min: KICKOFF! The Bulldogs kick off and Petero Civoniceva takes the first hit-up of the game.
2 min: PENALTY Canterbury. Matthew Bell blatently passes the ball off the ground and the Bulldogs have a tap 30m from Penriths line.
4 min: Line Drop-out Penrith. Kimmorley puts a chip kick into the in-goal and Michael Jennings plays it safe and runs it dead.
5 min: Ennis drives a grubber from dummy-half dead and the Panthers have a 20m tap.
6 min: PENALTY Penrith. David Stagg penalised for holding the man down and Penrith have a tap on halfway.
7 min: TRY Canterbury Bulldogs Brett Kimmorley scores his first try for the Doggies! Mick Ennis takes a dart down the short side, gives a short ball to Josh Morris who draws the fullback and passes inside to Kimmorley. Conversion attempt by Hazem El Masri successful. Canterbury Bulldogs 6-0
12 min: TRY Penrith Panthers Big Petero Civoniceva holds Ennis and Ryan in the tackle and flicks a beautiful offload to Aiton who goes over untouched. Conversion attempt by Michael Gordon successful. 6 all
13 min: PENALTY Penrith. Ennis kicks the ball out on the full off the restart and Penrith have a tap 15m out after Sammut finds the line.
15 min: POSSIBLE TRY Penrith. Luke Lewis looks to score but Kimmorley strips the ball 1 on 1. Lewis eventually ground the ball but checking for a knock on or two men in the strip.
17 min: Lachlan Coote loses the ball for Penrith and the Bulldogs have a scrum 35m from the Panthers line.
17 min: PENALTY Canterbury. Tim Grant penalised for a high tackle on Chris Armit and the Dogs have a tap 15m out.
18 min: Jamal Idris gets himself over the line but can't get the ball down as four Penrith defenders drive him out.
19 min: POSSIBLE TRY Penrith. Sammut puts up a towering bomb and after Patten and Sammut go for the ball it drops on the bounce to Nathan Smith who scores. Checking for Penrith knock-on.
19 min: PENALTY Canterbury. Penrith penalised for having a man offside which is an interesting ruling considering the kicker Sammut, was the first man to the football. Dogs with a tap 40m out from their line.
INJURY: Gary Warburton goes up the tunnel with a possible neck injury.
24 min: TRY Penrith Panthers A Sammut bomb eludes everyone as it eventually bounces back into the arms of Nathan Smith. Smith spins it left to Brad Tighe who eludes Kimmorley with a dummy and steps between El Masri and Idris to score. Great finish from Tighe! Conversion attempt by Michael Gordon successful. Penrith Panthers 14-6
26 min: PENALTY Penrith. Not Again! Ennis kicks out on the full again off the restart and Penrith have a tap 30m out.
27 min: Greg Eastwood comes on for the Bulldogs while Frank Prithchard comes on for Penrith.
28 min: TRY Canterbury Bulldogs A Kimmorley bomb eludes everyone and bounces back to Josh Morris who gives it inside to David Stagg who runs in an scores his first try for the Dogs. Conversion attempt by Hazem El Masri successful. Penrith Panthers 14-12
30 min: Ben Hannant knocks on off the first tackle and Penrith have a good opportunity to hit back.
31 min: TRY Penrith Panthers Juggling act from Trent Waterhouse! He receives a line ball from dummy half and juggles it once, twice, three times before controlling it and dropping over the tryline. The Panthers hit straight back. Conversion attempt by Michael Gordon successful. Penrith Panthers 20-12
33 min: The Panthers run it on the last as Jennings streaks down the left but Frank Pritchard can't hold his inside ball and the Dogs are off the hook.
35 min: Ben Barba makes a break and throws a beautiful inside ball which has the Dogs on the attack. Pritchard then intercepts a Kimmorley pass and works the ball out of Penriths half. Great passage of play from both sides.
37 min: PENALTY Penrith. A soft penalty now as Ben Barba is penalised for holding Gordon back as he went for an intercept. Not a lot in it.
38 min: Kimmorley looks for a 40/20 but scuffs it horribly and it sails out on the full.
39 min: PENALTY Penrith. Penrith play the ball to no one and a Bulldogs player dives on the ball. Common sense doesn't prevail as the Bulldogs are penalised for not clearing the ruck.
Half Time Penrith Panthers 20 lead the Canterbury Bulldogs 12. A fantastic first half of rugby league as both teams have shown some enterprising play. Some early errors in the tackle count - including Ennis kicking the restart out on the full twice - has cost both teams. The Bulldogs started on top but Penrith held the ascendency of the half holding 53% of possession.
41 min: KICKOFF! An unintentionally short kickoff from Lachlan Coote sees Lee Te Maari break 40m down field. Tee Maari gets the ball inside to Ennis who is wrapped up by the Panthers.
44 min: TRY Canterbury Bulldogs Mid-week signing Greg Eastwood gives a short basketball pass to David Stagg who breaks the line, draws the fullback, and finds Jamal Idris who scores. Conversion attempt by Hazem El Masri unsuccessful. Penrith Panthers 20-16
46 min: A lifting tackle from Masada Iosefa on Ennis goes unpenalised but he may have a case to answer at the judiciary.
49 min: PENALTY Canterbury. Waterhouse penalised for an infringement at the ruck and the Dogs have a tap 5m from halfway.
51 min: TRY Canterbury Bulldogs Chris Armit makes a half break for the Bulldogs. Ennis plays quickly and stabs a grubber through for Eastwood who does well to pick up and score. He's been at the club for 4 days but he's already got a try! Conversion attempt by Hazem El Masri successful. Canterbury Bulldogs 22-20
58 min: The Panthers throw the ball around and come close to scoring several times but the Dogs hold on and work it out of their line.
60 min: Aiton knocks on for the Panthers and the Dogs have the ball on halfway.
61 min: PENALTY Penrith. Stagg and Patten involved in an obstruction and the Panthers have the ball 30m from the Dogs line.
63 min: Michael Gordon makes a good kick return and almost loses his shorts in the process. Penrith with the ball on halfway.
65 min: Great work from Sammut as he kicks the ball inside his 40m and tackles Goodwin on the Bulldogs 10m line.
67 min: TRY Penrith Panthers Lewis turns the ball inside for Waterhouse who finds some space and bursts over to score. In truth that was woeful defence from Canterbury. Conversion attempt by Michael Gordon successful. Penrith Panthers 26-22
69 min: Jennings makes a 20m run from dummy half and the Panthers have gone 95m in this set.
74 min: Sammut loses the ball backwards on the last and Josh Morris knocks on as he dives on it. Penrith with a scrum 10m out.
74 min: PENALTY Canterbury. Sammut drives his small frame over the line but is penalised for double movement as the referee called held.
76 min: Coote knocks on as he attacks a Kimmorley kick and the Dogs have a scrum 35m out from the Panthers line.
78 min: TRY Canterbury Bulldogs The Bulldogs shift the ball left to Ben Roberts who throws a dummy and breaks through to score untouched. Hazem El Masri with the chance to win the game for the Bulldogs with a kick 10m in from touch. Conversion attempt by Hazem El Masri successful. Canterbury Bulldogs 28-26