NRL Round 6 – Match 2 Results: Tigers 4 v Bulldogs 24

Friday night’s match was a turning point for the Tigers, with the result proving whether or not they stood a real chance of the premiership this season.

As it turned out, they failed to live up to the expectations of their coach and the 19,000 plus fans in the stadium, thrashed by a revived Bulldogs 24 – 4 at Sydney Football Stadium.

In one of the biggest upsets of the round, it was only the Tigers second loss this season and Canterbury’s second win for 2010. After last year’s poor performance that saw the Dogs finish second last on the Ladder, Canterbury supporters are hoping Friday night’s comeback was the first of many more wins for them this year.

The Tigers hard match against the Cowboys in Round 5 had certainly taken its toll, and the Wests struggled without the help of halfback Tim Moltzen, out for the rest of the season, and were also without Todd Payton and Keith Galloway.

But if the Tigers are to go anywhere this season they need to learn to play with injury, as the Dragons did with their win ahead of the Titans this week.

It was an intense first half, both teams playing tough, and no points were put on the board until five minutes from the break when the Bulldogs’ hooker Michael Ennis got over the line in the 35th minute for his first of two match tries.

Ennis’ impressive performance in the game went a long way in giving him the advantage over the Tigers’ skipper Robbie Farah, as the two compete for the Blues number nine jersey in this year’s State of Origin.

Bryson Goodwin, who was spot-on kicking four from four this week, converted to give Canterbury a six to nil lead at half time.

Back from the break many expected the Tigers to fight back hard and give the fans something to cheer for, but their second half performance was anything but inspiring as they again failed to gain enough possession and were given the tough task of endlessly defending their line.

The Bulldogs got the early advantage with fullback Luke Patten scoring in the 47th minute and the conversion increasing their lead 12 to nil.

Finally with 20 minutes left to play, in-form winger Lote Tuqiri opened the Tigers’ account, scoring their sole four points of the game in a stunning 50m run.

But it was too little too late and just to prove their dominance, Ennis scored the second try of his match double in the 74th minute. Again Goodwin kicked the conversion giving them a comfortable 14 point lead ahead of the Wests.

Brett Kimmorley drilled the final nail into the Tigers’ coffin when he scored the Bulldog’s fourth and final match try with three minutes left on the clock and the conversion saw them finish up with 24 points to the Tigers four.