Bulldogs defeat woeful Warriors in Dunedin

Scott Pryde Roar Guru

12 Have your say

    The New Zealand Warriors terrible record playing away from Mount Smart Stadium in their home country continued as they put in a woeful performance, losing to the defensively solid Canterbury Bulldogs by 12 points.

    The Bulldogs were far from perfect as they picked up their first win of the season, but they did a lot of defence early in the match and ended on top of the scoreboard.

    For the Auckland-based team, their attack was painful to watch for the most part. The scene was set early in the match when they spent most of the first 20 minutes on the attack, coming up with a single try and it simply didn’t improve.

    Shaun Johnson’s involvement was limited, while Ata Hingano and fill-in fullback Tuimoala Lolohea struggled to do anything dangerous.

    While the Bulldogs attack wasn’t flashy, it was solid. They didn’t start well at that end of the park, but reverted to simple plays during the back end of the first half and much of the second to run in four tries.

    Stephen Kearney’s men did start the game well, despite Shaun Johnson looking dangerous on the right. They too often were trying to barge their way over for tries and not mixing the plays up enough.

    It took 16 minutes for the ‘visitors’ to get across the line with Lolohea grubbering back through the middle of the park, hitting the goalpost and setting up a rebound try for Bodene Thompson.

    While the Warriors were up 6-0, the momentum then reversed and while the Bulldogs taking some time to get their attack right, when they did it was clear they were the stronger side.

    Moses Mbye was the man to score their first try, just as they started dominating with their attack. Greg Eastwood ran and in a dangerous position linked back with Mbye for the offload who ran across the line to score.

    The Bulldogs were continually dangerous, but simply couldn’t find their way across the stripe until Mbye and Josh Reynolds were involved in the same play, linking with Brenko Lee who then threw a pass for Brett Morris to score in the corner.

    The second half didn’t start much better for the Warriors, who looked under the pump making a few errors, but the Bulldogs failed to capitalise despite spending some time on the attack.

    With the Warriors continuing to look lost in attack, it took some Shaun Johnson magic to spark them to life as he beat a few defenders, then linked with Bodene Thompson who offloaded back on the inside for Johnson who streaked away and scored to put the Warriors in front.

    The Bulldogs got back into the lead just four minutes later though with the Warriors defence breaking down on a shift to the right. Josh Morris simply danced outside the defenders and set up the debutant for the try that would ultimately break New Zealand.

    Des Hasler’s men dominated the forward battle to the end of the match from there on out with the Warriors making errors and unable to build an attack. They would heap on an extra try for good measure with a number of offloads before Brett Morris raced outside everyone to score in the corner.

    Canterbury now get ready to play the struggling Manly Sea Eagles on Saturday, while the Warriors will travel to Kogarah for a match with the St George Illawarra Dragons to close Round 4.

    In the end, the Bulldogs picking up their first win of the season over a woeful Warriors outfit.

    Match Statistics

    Tries: Bulldogs (4), Warriors (2)
    Goals: Bulldogs (3/4), Warriors (2/2)
    Penalty goals: Bulldogs (1/1), Warriors (nil)
    Possession: Bulldogs (47%), Warriors (53%)
    Completions: Bulldogs (31/38), Warriors (30/39)
    All runs: Bulldogs (166), Warriors (166)
    All run metres: Bulldogs (1506), Warriors (1384)
    Line breaks: Bulldogs (4), Warriors (1)
    Offloads: Bulldogs (11), Warriors (8)
    Tackles: Bulldogs (331), Warriors (300)
    Missed tackles: Bulldogs (17), Warriors (23)
    Penalties: Bulldogs (7), Warriors (7)
    Errors: Bulldogs (9), Warriors (9)

    Final score

    Canterbury Bulldogs 24
    New Zealand Warriors 12

    Scott Pryde
    Scott Pryde

    One of the mainstays of The Roar, Scott Pryde has written over 1,800 articles covering everything from rugby league to basketball, from tennis to cricket. You can follow him on Twitter @sk_pryde.

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    The Crowd Says (12)

    • March 17th 2017 @ 9:44pm
      Johnybulldog said | March 17th 2017 @ 9:44pm | ! Report

      Cheers again for the call Scotty,as u know I backed my boys n have a good start for slipper day tomoz….couldn’t watch the game but how did u rate Abbey n Montoya?

      • Roar Guru

        March 17th 2017 @ 10:02pm
        Scott Pryde said | March 17th 2017 @ 10:02pm | ! Report

        No worries Johny,

        Abbey I thought looked very nervous in defence. Didn’t look like he wanted to go for bombs or contest kicks and it would have really hurt the ‘Dogs against a strong side. The Warriors were just dreadful in attack. Hard to rate Abbey on attack because he didn’t get many chances to do much.

        Thought Montoya was really solid. Scored a try running good angles and made plenty of strong runs from the back, particularly during the second half. Really well spoken bloke as well – great post match interview. He has all the tools to make it, as I’m sure Abbey does – just didn’t show it that well tonight is all.

        • March 17th 2017 @ 10:22pm
          Johnybulldog said | March 17th 2017 @ 10:22pm | ! Report

          Good news,thanks mate…Wheres Barry I wonder…hope he’s enjoying the win.

    • March 18th 2017 @ 8:04am
      kk said | March 18th 2017 @ 8:04am | ! Report

      Hi Scott,

      Last night NZ Rugby League was rushed to intensive care at Dunedin Hospital
      in critical condition. Given 48 straight shots at the line and coming up empty
      drained them of resolve and the urge to compete. No RTS : No Warrior.

      On the other hand Canterbury showed a glimpse of 2012 form but still have to rid
      that pedestrian mode that clogs the works. It must be said that young Brad Abbey
      almost put this poster in IC. Perhaps he should try for a position with less exposure.

      • Roar Guru

        March 18th 2017 @ 1:14pm
        Scott Pryde said | March 18th 2017 @ 1:14pm | ! Report

        G’day Max,

        Shocking performance from the Warriors. They have a lot to do if they want to win another game in the foreseeable future.

        Abbey will be better than that next time out, but he just appeared to be lacking in confidence which I found strange.

    • March 18th 2017 @ 9:19am
      scrum said | March 18th 2017 @ 9:19am | ! Report

      Had the unfortunate experience of attending the match. One clueless team who were only kept in the match by an opposition team who committed numerous unforced errors and a fullback who seemed like a rabbit in the spotlight under the high ball. Totally underwhelming night out- may be a good TV game but as a live spectacle highly predictable and repetitious .

    • Roar Guru

      March 18th 2017 @ 9:54am
      The Barry said | March 18th 2017 @ 9:54am | ! Report

      Much more happy with the Dogs attack this week. Passes a lot cleaner and Mbye and Reynolds looked good attacking on the same side of the field. Very impressed with Montoya – particularly the high ball he took under pressure.

      Ball control not great and put themselves under pressure early but defence was solid. Jackson is a much better right backrower than a left centre!

      Pretty happy with the position so far. Two close, competitive losses to very good sides and a pretty dominant performance across the ditch.

    • Roar Rookie

      March 18th 2017 @ 10:46am
      JOHNY BULLDOG said | March 18th 2017 @ 10:46am | ! Report

      It’s amazing what a win does for the soul!

      • Roar Guru

        March 18th 2017 @ 10:59am
        The Barry said | March 18th 2017 @ 10:59am | ! Report

        Definitely mate. I’m pretty comfortable with where the team is at but it’s good to have opened the account for the year!

        • March 18th 2017 @ 11:23am
          Glenn said | March 18th 2017 @ 11:23am | ! Report

          Barry what is your honest assessment of the Dogs chances against the other top sides. So far it is 0-2, do you think they have a chance to make top 8 considering they are supposed to have the easiest draw of all the teams.

          • Roar Guru

            March 18th 2017 @ 1:23pm
            The Barry said | March 18th 2017 @ 1:23pm | ! Report

            Good question – that’s the big query for the Bulldogs, how they go against the top sides.

            Pre season I had the Storm and the Roosters in my top four and the Dogs have matched it with them. A poor start and a second half monsoon cost them against the Storm, otherwise the Dogs were the better team for most of the game.

            Against the Roosters Hollands injury saw Jackson playing in the centres. At least two tries were scored through his defensive positioning. It ended up five tries each.

            So I think they’ve shown they can mix it with the top teams but whether they can beat them consistently – the jury’s still out.

            I think they’ll make the eight. The core of this team has made the eight for five years straight including two grand finals. I get why people aren’t on them but I think this supposed decline has been exaggerated and the improvement of a few teams may be a little over stated.

    • March 18th 2017 @ 3:26pm
      Jacko said | March 18th 2017 @ 3:26pm | ! Report

      Cappy had no idea how to get a team to attack and it would appear that Kearney has no idea about attack…Mind you we all knew that before he was appointed coach so you get what you deserve i guess…If it continues like this ( like it has for 2 years now ) then , for me, enough will be enough….I believe I could be a better attack coach and Ive never played above local first grade so to have this sort of PATHETIC effort and coaching is something I just dont understand. HOW DO YOU SCORE POINTS WHEN NO-ONE IS TRYING TO? Someone PLEASE drop Johnson…..the guy is not capable of reading a game of league.

      It could well be time to stick to the Chiefs in Super rugby and forget the Warriors ever existed

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