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Last Updated: Sunday, 3 October, 2004, 13:00 GMT 14:00 UK
Canterbury win NRL final
Brad Fittler of the Sydney Roosters
Fittler set up Sydney's opening try
Canterbury Bulldogs fought back to beat Sydney Roosters 16-13 in the National Rugby League Grand Final in Australia.

The Bulldogs trailed 13-6 at half-time but raised their game to secure their first premiership title for nine years.

Their victory meant that Brad Fittler was denied a fairytale finish to his career while it was Sydney's second successive Grand Final defeat.

Ex-Leeds star Adrian Morley also failed in his bid to match Malcolm Reilly's record of two Grand Final wins.

"We played it tough but we lost so much ball," said the former Australia captain.

Fittler, leading the Roosters for the 200th and final time, set up the game's first try for winger Chris Walker with a neat kick off the side of his foot.

They added a second try when full-back Anthony Minichiello went over to give his side a seven-point interval lead.

The Bulldogs' first-half try came from New Zealand Test winger Matt Utai and he struck again three minutes into the second half to put his side in front for the first time.

Lebanon-born winger Hasem El Masri kicked his second goal and sealed the victory on 52 minutes when he finished off a weaving run from scrum-half Brett Sherwin to register his 100th try for the club.

Giant second rower Willie Mason won the Clive Churchill Medal as man of the match for Canterbury, whose next match will be the World Club Challenge against the 2004 Super League champions next February.

Fittler to retire
02 May 04  |  Rugby League

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