Eagles torn to shreds by relentless Blues. Cougars no match for classy Dogs.
Christchurch Bulldogs 15 11 101 def. University Cougars 5 10 40
Straight kicking in the opening two quarters saw the Dogs open up a handy 18-point lead by the main break. The Cougars were still in the game, however, with more scoring shots than the reigning premiers and showing a lot more physicality than in previous weeks. They have found some self belief since the arrival of Aussie import Mick Cardilini, however, with only one on the bench they soon ran out of puff. The Dogs gained the ascendancy in the third quarter when they rammed home 33-points while the Cougars made no addition to their half time score. The Dogs final quarter could have been a real percentage booster, but they wasted their mid-field dominance with inaccuracy in front of goal. Jarred Percival has been a real find for the Dogs, along with ruckman Julian Dykman. Irish journeyman, Paddy Smith continues to excite with his dashing runs and aggressive attack on the ball. The Cougars have shown potential, but it is all short lived. They need to see more commitment from their list if they are going to build their year into something worthwhile.
Best Cougars: Cardilini, Day, de Joux, Swift
Best Bulldogs: Williams, P Smith, Andrews, Parcival, Van Gruting
The Blues 24 16 160 def The Eagles 9 7 61
The half time score gave no indication as to what was going to happen after the main break. The Blues led by 16-points and the Eagles were well and truly in the game, led by stalwart Simon Carden and speedy mid-fielder Josh Robles-McGill. The 8-goals scored by the Eagles to half time showed they had found a more direct avenue to goal. Centre clearances were also going their way which protected their leaky defence. The story changed dramatically after the main break, as the Eagles run dried up and the class and overall team talent of the Blues took its toll. For the first time this season, the Blues had a strong bench, enabling them to rotate at will, while the Eagles legs got slower as the game went on. The loss of ascendancy in the mid-field saw the brittle Eagle defence crumble under the onslaught. Their lack of hard runners often meant Blues forwards and mids were unopposed when there was turnover. They are far too classy a side to waste easy possessions and had the luxury of multiple goal kickers in Bradley, Levi Ingliss, Jonny and Nick Fisher and Dan Benny ( all with 3-goals). They have unearthed a major force in Ruckman Lawrence Babe, who is sure to catch the attention of the Canterbury coaching staff.
Best Eagles: S Carden, Van Olphen, Robles, Burr
Best Blues: Babe, Sherlock, Court, Bowden, L Ingliss