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Throwback Thursday: Wests Tigers vs Canterbury Bulldogs

After three weeks on the road, Wests Tigers will return home to Leichhardt Oval on Friday evening to play against the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs.

The Bulldogs have never played against Wests Tigers at Leichhardt Oval, but played fifty matches against the Balmain Tigers between 1935 and 1999.

While the Bulldogs hold a strong record against the joint venture, the black-and-gold have had the better of their Western Sydney rivals over the past two years, winning three of the last four encounters.

Ahead of Friday’s clash, we’re partnering with Boomer Home Loans to revisit two of the most memorable matches between Wests Tigers and the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs

A healthy crowd packed into Telstra Stadium in 2005 to watch the reigning premiers face off against a young and upcoming Wests Tigers outfit.

The Bulldogs got away to a fast start with two quick tries before an offload from John Skandalis allowed Brett Hodgson to open the scoring for the visitors.

Benji Marshall was instrumental in creating the next four-pointer, skipping past defenders before linking up with Paul Whatuira and Daniel Fitzhenry on the left edge.

Baby-faced Benji
Baby-faced Benji

Trailing by six at the break, Scott Prince levelled the scores with a strong run before Wests Tigers broke out their trademark ad-lib football to score a length-of-the-field try that passed through ten sets of hands.

A Scott Prince intercept increased the buffer before John Wilson finished off a left-to-right shift to put the black-and-gold ahead by eighteen.

The resilient Bulldogs would soon hit back with three tries in quick succession to level the scores in the 79th minute, but Prince would ultimately be the hero of the day.

The halfback stepped up to slot a field goal with just twenty seconds left on the clock to complete one of the biggest upsets of the 2005 season.


Fifteen years after Prince’s heroics in Homebush, it was another Wests Tigers halfback who provided the match-winning moment against the Bulldogs.

Entering the clash in tenth position on the ladder, Michael Maguire’s men required a strong performance against the Bulldogs to remain within touching distance of the top eight.

Mbye with the opening try
Mbye with the opening try

A barnstorming run from Luciano Leilua provided Moses Mbye with the opening try before Adam Doueihi and David Nofoaluma combined with Luke Garner for the second rower’s first of the match.

After tearing the Bulldogs apart in 2005, Marshall returned as a wily veteran to kick a 40/20 and throw a delectable cutout ball for David Nofoaluma to score untouched.

Brooks from 30 out.
Brooks from 30 out.

The Kiwi wizard then threaded a deft grubber kick through the defensive line for Luke Garner to complete his double.

Four consecutive tries to the Bulldogs saw the visitors snatch the lead late in the match, but Joseph Leilua would tie the game with a try in the 73rd minute.

Brooks nails it!
Brooks nails it!

After several failed field goal attempts from both sides, Luke Brooks received the ball thirty metres out and nailed the match-winning one-pointer for his side.

Acknowledgement of Country

Wests Tigers respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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