SG Ball QF Report: Bulldogs 32 v Newtown 26
The Bulldogs SG Ball side had to overcome several hurdles to defeat bogey side Newtown 32-26 in the Quarter Finals after being down 18-4 at one stage.
It was a gutsy win by the Bulldogs as they had to dig deep and in the end had to show the attacking prowess that has made them a dangerous force this season.
Newtown has been the only side to defeat the Bulldogs this season at SG Ball level with a 20-16 in the opening match of the season and when the Jets raced to an 18-4 lead the signs was ominous that the Bulldogs season would start and end with losses against Newtown. Last year the Roosters ended the Bulldogs SG Ball season in the semi finals and the Jets this year took over from the Roosters as the SG Ball side.
The Bulldogs made a promising start with Aidan Sezer scoring the opening try, but Newtown produced three unanswered tries, which were all converted to lead 18-4.
Two tries before half-time and both setup by fullback Nathan Massey put the Bulldogs within two points at the break. Massey created the Bulldogs second try when a nice long pass found winger Ratu Tagive to score in the corner. Massey was involved again when made a long break down field and a few tackles later captain Liam Ayoub crossed over.
Newtown scored moments into the second half to lead 22-16, but the Bulldogs got within two points when Richard Irwin scored a fine try from 30m out. The try was unconverted with the Jets holding a slender two-point lead.
The Bulldogs needed some inspiration to put the game into their control and it was left to front-rower Teni Waipouri to provide the key match-winning moments. An excellent flick pass by Waipouri allowed second-rower Ben Aualiitia to score and moments later the powerful prop crashed over the Bulldogs surged to a 32-22 lead.
Newtown added interest late in the match when the scored to bring the margin within a converted try, but the Bulldogs defence held firm as they advanced to the final four where they hope to avenge for the disappointment of last year.
Best for the Bulldogs included Dale Finucane, Teni Waipouri and Liam Ayoub.
The Bulldogs will play Brisbane Norths next Saturday at St Marys Leagues Club Stadium with the winner to play Melbourne or Manly in the Grand Final.
In other SG Ball/ARL National Under 18's Quarter Finals, Melbourne defeated Newcastle 22-16, Manly were too strong for Townsville 36-18 and Brisbane Norths provided the shock of the round upsetting Parramatta 26-20.
The semi-finals is now wide open with Manly coming from bottom qualifying position in the SG Ball competition (12th) to be one match away from an unlikely Grand Final appearance and the Devils being the only side from the Mal Meninga (U/18) or Cyril Connell (U/16) competitions to advance through to the final four. With Melbourne and Brisbane Norths in the semi final mix the SG Ball competition has an excellent national competition flavour to it.
The Bulldogs are the only club in 2009 to make the final four in both the Harold Matthews and SG Ball competitions.
Norths Devils v Parramatta Eels U/18 Quarter Final Report (Bulldogs Next Opponent)
Stay tuned to www.juniorbulldogs.com.au or www.bulldogs.com.au for further information.
2009 SG Ball Round of 16 Finals
Tries: Aidan Sezer, Ratu Tagive, Liam Ayoub, Richard Irwin, Ben Aualiitia, Teni Waipouri
Goals: Ali Hijazi 4
Newtown Jets 26
Tries: Dane Atkinson 2, Samson Manuâa, Jack Littlejohn, Michael Mizrahie
Goals: Jacob Miller 3
Venue: Toyota Park, Cronulla
Date: Saturday 25th April, 2009
Half Time Score: Newtown 18-10
Selected Squad: 1 Nathan Massey, 2 Chris Taripo, 3 Richard Irwin, 4 Ali Hijazi, 5 Ratu Tagive, 5 Aidan Sezer, 7 Liam Ayoub [c], 8 Teni Waipouri, 9 Mark Gordon, 10 Judah Lavulo, 11 Chris Thomas, 12 Ben Aualiitia, 13 Dale Finucane. Interchange: 14 Alai Taufaao, 15 Siro Makatoa, 16 Lachlan Burr, 17 Tarek El Masri, 20 Tui Paiaaua. Coach: Jason Williams.
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