The Bulldogs ran away with a 30-12 victory at Allianz Stadium in Round 12, in a match that was most notable for the stunning club debut of discount mid-season buy Krisnan Inu.
A brilliantly gifted player capable of awful lapses he has been a model of consistency under Hasler’s tutelage, and he started in the most emphatic way possible.
After Mitchell Pearce opened the scoring with a jagged run through some poor defence, Inu, playing on the wing, scored his first try in blue and white minutes later when he finished off a regulation overlap play set up by a Barba draw-and-pass.
A strong Minichiello try then had the Roosters up 12-4 after 35 minutes before the ’Dogs flicked the switch. Again Inu was heavily involved as he leapt through the air to control a Kris Keating cross-field kick and fling it back infield as he tumbled over the sideline for Frank Pritchard to score. Then Jonathan Wright cleaned up the scraps when the Roosters failed to control an Ennis kick through the line in the shadows of halftime – from a play that had begun inside the Canterbury 40.
Having taken an unlikely 14-12 lead into the break the ’Dogs were impenetrable thereafter in a three-tries-to-none second-half shut-out. Inu picked up a double with a powerful dummy-half run from inside the Roosters’ 10-metre line and Jonathan Wright also bagged a double and put the match beyond doubt in the 70th minute, pouncing on a loose Roosters pass to run the length of the field.
Aside from Inu the standouts from the Bulldogs included centre Tim Lafai, who notched 10 tackle-breaks and 126 metres in his second last game of the season before injury struck, and prop James Graham (124 metres, 26 tackles). For the Roosters, Pearce and second-rower Aiden Guerra missed seven tackles each.