Last Time Played: Hodkinson the hero
The Bulldogs defeated the Eels 8-7 in golden point at ANZ Stadium in Round 20 last year.
In a tense tussle the Bulldogs led 6-nil at the break courtesy of a try to Josh Reynolds, the interchange breaking the Eels open from dummy-half in the 29th minute then backing up playmaker Trent Hodkinson to sprint over unopposed to complete a 50-metre passage of play.
Jarryd Hayne got the Eels back into the contest 10 minutes after the break when he scored against the run of play – Hayne intercepted a Ben Roberts pass after the Bulldogs five-eighth looked to mount a right-side sweep from a scrum 10 metres out from the Parramatta try line.
Hayne edged the Eels ahead 7-6 five minutes before the 80-minute siren when he snapped a field-goal from 20 metres out in front of the goalposts, then Hodkinson squared the ledger with a one-pointer with 150 seconds of normal play remaining.
Hodkinson became the Bulldogs’ hero in the seventh minute of extra time when he potted the decider from 42 metres out on the last tackle.
The sides competed with considerable skill given the rainy and heavy conditions – in fact the Eels edged their opponents for completions (85 per cent to 79 per cent).
Aiden Tolman was a colossus in the blue and white, carving out 132 metres and making a phenomenal 63 tackles – ditto the Eels’ Tim Mannah who made 23 hit-ups and tallied 223 metres.