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Wests Tigers smash Canterbury Bulldogs as Keith Lulia equals four-try record

Wests Tigers 46 Bulldogs 12

Up with the best: Keith Lulia scores his first try for the Tigers on Sunday.

Up with the best: Keith Lulia scores his first try for the Tigers on Sunday. Photo: Getty Images

Keith Lulia equalled the club record of four tries but it was the stars of generation next who helped the Wests Tigers stun the Bulldogs 46-18 in one of the joint venture's greatest victories on Sunday afternoon.

Mitchell Moses, Luke Brooks and Curtis Sironen – high school friends from Holy Cross Ryde – in combination with Blake Austin and Lulia, destroyed the competition frontrunners in an nine-try-to-three demolition at ANZ Stadium.

Strong opposition: Bulldogs player Greg Eastwood tackles Martin Taupau of Wests Tigers.

Strong opposition: Bulldogs player Greg Eastwood tackles Martin Taupau of Wests Tigers. Photo: Getty Images

Time
80.00
Team
WES
Score
46
Team
BUL
Score
18
Wests Tigers versus Canterbury-Bankstown
View Match Statistics
Players Thompson, Lulia(4), Sironen, Brooks, Woods, Gavet Tries 9 Tries 3 Players Inu, Lafai, Thompson
Players Moses 2/3 (66%), Richards 3/4 (75%), Austin 0/2 (0%) Conversions 5 Conversions 3 Players Hodkinson 3/3 (100%)
Players Penalty goals 0 Penalty goals 0 Players
Players Field goals 0 Field goals 0 Players

The loss could come at a price for the Bulldogs after Tim Browne was taken to hospital with a depressed skull fracture suffered in the second half.

The 28-point victory could not have come at a better time for under-siege coach Mick Potter, whose future has been under a dark cloud for the past week as the club completed a review of its structures.

But his side's inspiring performance may have just saved his job – at least for the rest of this season. "I'd be pleased with that result anytime but this week is particularly pleasing," Potter said. "Our players played out of their skin and I can't be any more happy with them ... I just need to get on with what I do and try not to be distracted by outside influences. I'm not going to change for anyone outside just because of pressure. I won't be compromising with what I do with the team. The team responds really well to what we do. We got a great result today."

The 27-year-old Lulia, who Potter brought back to the NRL from the English Super League this season, had a field day outside of the young Tigers back line. Lulia equalled Marika Koroibete (2012) and Kevin McGuinness' (2002) club record for most tries in a game.

"Keith's been in and out of first grade this year," Potter said. "He's performed in NSW Cup and he's done OK for us, but that was a great performance from him. His finishing ability was just second to none. A couple of those tries he scored, not too many people can do that sort of stuff."

But the real shining light was man-of-the-match Moses, playing in just his third NRL game in an unfamiliar role at fullback.

Moses, who spent his juniors playing alongside Brooks in the halves, had a hand in six of the Tigers' tries on a memorable afternoon for the joint venture, which celebrated its 15th anniversary on Tuesday night. While Moses was sublime for the Tigers, Potter says the pocket rocket has plenty of improvement in his game. "He's a good young man and I don't think you've seen the best of him," he said.

"He's a player with a lot of potential. I know that word gets thrown around a lot, but he showed a bit of that today. I'm really happy that he's in our team and he's going to be here for a while.

"He's always been a confident kid and always plays his hand. He's not shy and he's got very good vision. He knows where to be at the right place at the right time. It's no coincidence that he came up with those stats."

After such a brilliant defensive effort against Melbourne to claim a 6-4 win on the road last weekend, Bulldogs coach Des Hasler was gutted with the effort his side dished out against the previously out-of-sorts Wests Tigers.

"We weren't good today – I will acknowledge that – but we should have beaten Wests Tigers," Hasler said. "I didn't think they played particularly well but they took their chances. It's one we've got to put behind us. They are a very, very disappointed playing group. The nine tries [conceded] is disappointing."

15 comments so far

  • Feeling a bit down after losing to Bronc's but god the Doggie fans must be feeling worse.
    Brooks and Moses must be groomed as the NSW half pairing by 2016 surely.

    Commenter
    Jacko
    Location
    Warriorville
    Date and time
    July 20, 2014, 5:46PM
    • Nothing gives me more pleasure than to see a team coached by Hasler get beaten...AND ESPECIALLY FLOGGED LIKE TODAY.

      Commenter
      Mike
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      July 20, 2014, 6:54PM
      • I think evidence suggests that if every team is playing at their best, the competition comes down to a race between 3, Manly, the Roosters and NZ. I think only NZ has the ability to beat the Roosters if both sides play their best.

        Commenter
        Reyter
        Date and time
        July 20, 2014, 8:58PM
        • I think you've been drinking. NZ welt under the pump and the roosters are a shadow of the team they were last year. manly v Souths gf

          Commenter
          Gee up
          Date and time
          July 20, 2014, 9:52PM
      • (Hasler) "I didn't think they played particularly well....". You're kidding right? Were you at the same match I was at? The young Tigers ripped the Dogs apart in the second half. Give credit where it is due you sore loser!

        Commenter
        nicS
        Date and time
        July 20, 2014, 8:59PM
        • I completely agree. In the second half, the Tigers forwards completely dominated the Bulldogs, making metres at will. That performance gave the backs the room and time to be creative. We owned them!

          Commenter
          Rod
          Date and time
          July 21, 2014, 6:28AM
        • Yea Hasler's comment that the Tigers didn't play well was kinda odd to say the least.
          Hell Mr Hasler imagine if the Tiger's had played well then!

          Commenter
          Jacko
          Location
          Warriorville
          Date and time
          July 21, 2014, 8:08AM
        • I think if you watch the press conference properly, Des was talking about the Bulldogs not the west tigers.....

          Commenter
          Reading the play
          Date and time
          July 21, 2014, 7:01PM
      • Hasler has never been gracious in defeat - wow, it must really sting losing to the team coming 11th on the ladder! Anyway, we all know what Hasler's like but one thing's for sure he's really made himself at home amongst all the Dogs!

        Commenter
        Anna
        Location
        Sydney
        Date and time
        July 21, 2014, 7:48AM
        • Hasler is right in so far as the Tigers did not defend well. Their wing defence was very poor. Fortunately their attack was spot on, and dazzled the doggies. Can't wait for the next instalment in the Mick Potter story. So far it goes like this - he'll be sacked, he won't be sacked, he'll be sacked, he won't be sacked, he'll be sacked, he won't be sacked, he'll be sacked, he won't be sacked. Tough way to make a living.

          Commenter
          The Dog
          Location
          Haberfield
          Date and time
          July 21, 2014, 9:25AM

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