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Bulldogs hail match-winner Morris

Corey Rosser, NZ Correspondent NRL.com Sun, May 18, 2014 - 5:45 PM

Josh Morris’s try-saving tackle on Warriors halfback Shaun Johnson late in their game in Hamilton was hailed by Bulldogs skipper Michael Ennis as the ‘play of the season’. Copyright: Shane Wenzlick.

Bulldogs captain Michael Ennis has given the credit for his side’s 16-12 victory over the Warriors to a "special" Josh Morris.

With three minutes on the clock and the Bulldogs leading by four points, Shaun Johnson broke free down the right wing and looked for all money to have sent the game to golden point.

But a huge covering tackle from Josh Morris bundled the Kiwi international into touch and ultimately secured the Doggies a seventh-straight victory.

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“I thought he (Johnson) was home too, and then Josh … he is a special player mate, a special player,” Ennis said.

“That was just pure attitude and that’s probably why he plays at the level he does. He played in the Test a few weeks ago and no doubt he will be in the [NSW] Origin side on Tuesday.

“I knew 16-6 probably wasn’t enough, in the end to be honest I thought it was a play of the year what Josh Morris came up with there.

“In moments like that when you need someone to do special things, he does it.”

The heroic tackle capped off what had been a dominant display from the Bulldogs, who despite trailing at halftime, were the better team for all but the first and last 15 minutes.

The win is the Bulldogs’ second in just over a month on Kiwi soil, having triumphed 21-20 over the Warriors back in Round 6 also.

Ennis said Canterbury knew what they were coming up against at Waikato Stadium, praising the efforts of the Warriors who had come into the match following back-to-back victories.

“It was a tough game, they kept coming the Warriors and I thought (Feleti) Mateo’s injection late in the game added some spark for them," he said.

“We just stayed in our defensive processes and fortunately enough we were able to hang on.

“Twice in a month over here [New Zealand], it is really pleasing to come away with two wins, they are a good side the Warriors.”

While relieved to take the two points ahead of what could be a draining representative round for his squad, coach Des Hasler believed they made it harder than it needed to be.

“We knew it was always going to be a tough game. They [the Warriors] have been playing well over the last month," Hasler said.

“They have really turned the corner and they played some pretty good football.

“It was just a tough grinding game of footy, we were pleased that we held on.

“There were some aspects of our game which weren’t too bright, we played a bit dumb in some areas and probably put a bit more pressure on ourselves than we needed to.”

Meanwhile Hasler endorsed his halves pairing of Trent Hodkinson and Josh Reynolds as candidates for the NSW Origin team, which is named on Tuesday.

“They have been playing pretty consistent footy so I would imagine their names will come into that space,” he said.

“At least Laurie (Daley) and the selectors have players to choose from, and all those players are playing good footy, so they are a very good chance.”