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  1. BulletGreat to be back at Ringrose Park on a sunny Sunday afternoon watching quality Rugby League. Yes we did try the Wenty Burger again and thankfully it wasn't sold out as is usually the case. This time there was a variation on the theme. Instead of being on a bun, it was presented in a long roll version. Still was excellent, with beetroot and pineapple.

  1. BulletIt was good to be able to have a chat with Barry Ward before the game and thats how we found out that he hadn't won a match at Ringrose Park.It was good just to be able to have an informal chat about rugby league. he told us that the Bulldogs are in good shape on all fronts. It was a good weekend for the team after they defeated the Broncos 24-14 in first grade and then post back to back wins for the NSW Cup team. Coach Ward has every confidence in his team and believes they will be thereabouts come the end of the season.

  1. BulletOne person we were really pleased to see playing was Curtis Johnston of the North Sydney Bears. He was playing for Asquith in the Ron Massey Cup. He was demoted due to the good form of the team since his standing down due to the ASADA investigations. All along we have denounced the ASADA activity as nothing more than a political stunt designed to take the heat off the Gillard government via sensational press headlines pushing their gaffes off the front page.Kate Lundy and co should be supporting sport instead of trying to bring it down. We have seen Curtis Johnston play over the past couple of seasons and this guy loves the game of rugby league. It was absolutely shameful in what he was put through thanks to the ASADA goons. Thank goodness on September 14, the federal election will unemploy and disengage those at the helm of this shoddy outfit. There will be a new sports minister and a thankfully a measured, thorough, different and proper approach to the important task of ensuring sport is played cleanly. We watched Curtis closely on the weekend. His Asquith side were being hammered and well behind on the scoreboard. Curtis kept encouraging his team mates to hold their lines and kept talking up plays. This bloke loves his league and we hope he returns to the Bears side and contributes to their post season efforts. Importantly, this bloke can play the game.

Barry Ward’s gambling Dogs pay dividend

May 2013

Ringrose Park, Wentworthville,

New South Wales

by Jodie Newell

For more years than he can remember, Canterbury Bankstown coach Barry Ward has headed to Ringrose Park in the guise of many rugby league faces and returned empty handed, losing everytime to Wentworthville.

The wily and seasoned VB NSW Cup coach of the Bulldogs decided to throw the dice and on each fifth tackle, Ward advised his players to chip kick, go short and chase hard instead of a long bomb to the normally reliable Jake Mullaney of Wentworthville. The strategy worked and was ultimately the difference between to the two sides who fought out a pulsating encounter.

“I can’t fault these blokes they dig in every week and they try their hardest”

- Canterbury Bankstown coach Barry Ward

The boys from Belmore were strengthened with the inclusion of prop Martin Taupau who has recently featured prominently in NRL first grade duties. His hard running at the Wenty lines and quick offloads gave the Dogs plenty of offensive power.

Joel Romelo was outstanding in the first half with superb delivery of wide passes giving his full backs and wingers plenty of room to run hard and open up the Wentworthville defence. Conversely, the Magpies struggled for the most part in getting their game plan in action. Dropped ball and a stack of penalties made it a difficult day for the Brett Cook coached team.

The opening tries for the Bulldogs had an identical look about them with Joel Romelo and Drury Low setting up Brett Lane who scored twice within 10 minutes. Jack Littlejohn was unable to convert, with the Dogs holding an 8-0 lead.

It took 19 minutes of rugby league before Wenty were able to get on the board thanks to a straight run from Semi Radradra at the Bulldogs line who broke though for first try of the day to the Magpies. Mullaney made no mistake with the conversion 8-6 Dogs.

Minutes later Jack Littlejohn gave a pass off to Nathan Massey and the Dogs had another try. Littlejohn missed the extras, 12-6 in favour of the Bulldogs.

In the play of the day, Joel Romelo on the fifth kick made a superb 40-20 for the Canterbury Bankstown team. This was on the back of some stout defence from Wentworthville and to achieve this play under those circumstances was an outstanding effort. With great field position, the Dogs cashed in thanks to full back Drury Low diving into the try zone. This time Littlejohn made the conversion and the Bulldogs led 18-6 and thats where the half ended on.

The question most supporters had on their minds at Ringrose Park during the break was could the Magpies fight back and get into the game. The Bulldogs quickly gave an answer when Martin Taupau crashed through the Wenty defence for an outstanding power try. Littlejohn made the extras and the scoreline was making things very difficult for a Wenty victory. 24-6 Bulldogs.

The Dogs came forward again and scored an incredible try, when Drury Low posted a quick chip quick that looked gone for all money. Nathan Massey had other ideas and reached out as the ball sped past him and did just enough to plant the ball into the turf before it headed out. Littlejohn missed again, but the Bulldogs held what looked like a match winning lead of 28-6.

With roughly 25 minutes left on the clock Wentworthville needed a spark to get back in the game. It came after the Bulldogs were deep in their own territory. Wenty’s defence forced Bulldog Kris Keating over the touchline and gained excellent field position. Wenty didn't let this opportunity go to waste, with Ben Roberts effortlessly finding his way through the Dogs defence. Jake Mullaney gained the extras. The pulse was now beating for the Magpies 28-12.

Wentworthville kept up the pressure and soon found themselves with another try this time courtesy of Kenny Edwards. Mullaney again made no mistake and Wenty were flying home with a wet sail. 28-18.

Wenty just kept coming and were applying enormous pressure to the Dogs defence. It snapped with minutes remaining when Canterbury Bankstown’s Joel Romelo was sin binned for a professional foul. Whilst it wasn't a good outcome, the play ate valuable seconds off the clock at the expense of losing a player. Wenty again scored and it looked like they would steal the game.Ryan Morgan scored, the try was converted an incredibly the Magpies had a chance for victory 28-24.

In the final play of the day Jack Littlejohn was awarded a penalty right in front of the goals, but he missed and his conversion rate for the day was a shocking 2 from 7 attempts.

The Bulldogs were able to hold out Wentworthville and gain a valuable two competition points

After the match, Coach Barry Ward told NMGSports that during the week, his team had worked on the 50-50 fifth tackle chip to counter full back Jake Mullaney  “We thought their full back was deep and their winger stayed up. He (Mullaney) is a good player and we thought he’d just bring it back to us. So we may as well get a 50-50 call. Put it in short and chase hard and we can try our luck. It’s good when you train for something like that and it pays off”

Martin Taupau told NMGSports after the match he was pleased with the team’s determination “We came here knowing that Wenty are a tough team and are one of the top contenders. It’s hard for us to come to their home ground on a Sunday. But we turned up, we completed our sets, we grinded it out and got the win”.

Next Saturday Canterbury Bankstown host the in-form Newtown Jets, whilst Wentworthville play Newcastle in a tough away fixture next weekend.

Martin Taupau (left) of the Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs was the man-of-the-match against Wentworthville. His solid runs at the Wenty lines and fierce tackling majorly contributed to the Bulldogs 28-24 victory.

image: 2013 NewellMediaGroup

Final score:  Canterbury Bankstown 28 defeated Wentworthville 24

Tries: Bulldogs : B Lane 2, N Massey 2, D Low, M Taupau

Tries: Magpies : K Edwards, R Morgan, S Radradra, B Roberts

Conversions: Bulldogs : J Littlejohn 2

Conversions: Magpies : Mullaney 4

Referee: Michael Laverty

Touch Judges : Peter Sciberras   John Woods

At Ringrose Park

  1. BulletThe other great thing about Wenty is seeing John “Emu” Stephenson. He always says G’day and this day we caught him in great spirits as he’d been awarded life membership of the Wentworthville Magpies. He was proudly wearing the life members badge on his shirt. People such as Emu are lifeblood to the the thousands of sports clubs around Australia.Was great to see him awarded “life” by Wenty. Emu (2nd from left) was busy selling raffle tickets for a meat tray at half time (see photo below) job well done Emu!

  1. BulletThat hard working broadcaster known as The Sultan of the Sidelines, Steele Sports special comments man and Triple H commentator Tony Dosen was putting into practise the “when too much sport is never enough” into practise. The Sultan spent 5 hours of broadcasting from Ringrose, the 3 grades on offer, namely Sydney Shield, Ron Massey and VB NSW Cup. Considering he was also on air the day before with the voice of excitement Alby Talarico and the Steele Sports team for the Norths v Jets fixture, we can see why he is appropriately dubbed The Sultan. We were talking about ASADA and the absurd “blackest day in Australian sport” claim made at the infamous February press conference. Dosen dryly quipped to us “Are they kidding, the blackest day/s was easily the Montreal Olympics of 1976, where Australia failed to win one single Gold medal. Swimmer Stephen Holland was hot favourite to win the 1500m race and came up with a bronze. Raelene Boyle was controversially disqualified in the 200 metre sprint for breaking early and to top it off the Kiwis denied Australia a gold medal in the mens hockey final 1-0. We suggested the most recent Ashes series where the Poms and Barmy Army took over the SCG on the final day of the series was pretty dark, but Dosen was adamant the Montreal Games remained the worst days of Aussie sport.