Canterbury cantered to an 8-2 win over Illawarra last night, but the big
talking point at Belmore Sports Ground was David Gillespie's hand injury which
will rule the Bulldogs' State second-rower out of Rugby League for the rest of
Gillespie almost severed the middle finger of his left hand in a work
accident yesterday morning.
A garbage worker with the Strathfield Council, he caught his finger in a
garbage compacter. He was taken immediately to Western Surburbs Hospital where
micro-surgeons reconstructed the finger.
A spokesman for Western Suburbs Hospital said yesterday that Gillespie
should eventually regain complete use of the finger. He will be in hospital
indefinitely and is out for the rest of this season.
Gillespie, who was named in each of the three NSW State of Origin teams this
year, will almost certainly miss the Kangaroo tour at the end of the season.
His loss came at a bad time for Canterbury, who went into last night's match
without captain Steve Mortimer and Australian second-rower Steve Folkes.
Canterbury coach Warren Ryan said: "We'll certainly miss Gillespie's
Ryan said that Folkes, who recently had surgery on a groin injury, should be
able to return for Sunday 's semi-final against Souths.
Mortimer, who suffered a neck injury last week against St George, ruled
himself out of last night's match but should be available for Sunday's
Geoff Robinson last night played in the second-row with Paul Dunn. Versatile
centre Michael Hagan moved to halfback and Andrew Farrar was shifted from the
wing to centre, with Sandy Campbell coming into the side.
Despite the closeness of the scores last night, self preservation was
obviously the main motivation for Canterbury.
They scored two tries to nil and won the match at the trot against an
Illawarra side which did not launch a serious attack on the Bulldogs' line.
Stand-in captain and five-eighth Terry Lamb was again outstanding for
Canterbury. He was well supported by prop Peter Tunks, Dunn, Hagan, and winger
Lamb became the leading point scorer in the Winfield premiership when he
scored Canterbury's first try early in the first half, after a neat kick ahead
O'Brien scored the second try nine minutes later after an excellent passing
movement involving Hagan and Farrar.
Canterbury led 8-0 at half-time,after 40 minutes of football which featured
some ferocious defence.
Ryan was pleased with his side's first half effort, although was a little
disappointed with the tactics used by Illawarra. The Steelers constantly ran the
ball from dummy-half and kicked on the first or second tackle.
Illawarra coach Brian Smith was pleased with his side's enthusiasm and
"That game typified our season. Our enthusiasm and resolution were there but
our execution was off," Smith said.
CANTERBURY 8 (T Lamb S O'Brien tries) bt Illawarra 2 (C Macklin-Shaw pen
goal). Referee: B Barnes. Crowd: 10,013.
WDLF A Pts
St George 1211136040229
Illawarra 7-1731037218Bella, Roach to play tonight; The Bear who makes
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