FIVE days after being embarrassed by Newcastle, Canterbury bounced back with a dour 24-14 victory over Brisbane in front of 11,344 fans at ANZ Stadium tonight.
The four-tries-to-three win followed a regular pattern in the NRL this season with teams returning home the following week after disappointments on the road with much improved performances and again puts the Bulldogs on the cusp of the Telstra Premiership top eight.
Fullback Ben Barba's performance prompted coach Des Hasler to again back his fullback for an Origin call-up. "He wouldn't be out of place and wouldn't let anybody down in a Maroon jersey," he told Triple M.
It only took 7 minutes for Ben Barba to put his stamp on the game after he came up with a brilliant try-saving, one-on-one tackle on Broncos winger Lachlan Maranta. The winger attempted to run over the top of the fullback who stood his ground and affected the tackle with the help of several teammates.
Barba was again involved minutes later when he opened the scoring for the home side. As the ball was shifted to the left hand side, the Broncos defence appeared to have the numbers before Barba’s kick rebounded off the hands and legs of Justin Hodges and back into his arms. Broncos fullback Corey Norman tried to hold him up but couldn’t do so and after Hodkinson converted from beside the posts the ‘Dogs held a 6-0 advantage.
In the 32nd minute Barba was once again attempting to save tries in the south-eastern corner of ANZ Stadium after the Broncos moved the ball to their left hand side after a second-man play from Peter Wallace put Norman on the outside of his man. Norman delivered the pass to Hoffman who could have slid in in the corner, but he attempted to run over the top of Barba who tried his best along with Michael Ennis to prevent the try. They were both unsuccessful and after Corey Parker missed from the sideline, the Bulldogs took a two-point advantage to the sheds.
Just six minutes into the second half, Bulldogs prop Sam Kasiano bulldozed his way over the line following five-eighth Josh Reynolds’ decision to run the ball on the last. The crafty playmaker passed out of dummy half onto a rampaging Kasiano who was never going to be stopped by Brisbane’s Andrew McCullough.
10 minutes later, Kasiano’s prop forward partner Aiden Tolman also put his name on the scoresheet and it was a carbon-copy of the previous try. Hooker Michael Ennis decided to run the ball on the last, delivering a perfectly timed pass to Tolman after engaging both Brisbane markers on their own line.
Promising Bronco Jordan Kahu gave his side hope in the 67th minute by showing his athletic ability after out-leaping Sam Perrett in the contest following Corey Norman’s weighted chip into the corner. Following the Kahu try the Broncos appeared to have all the momentum and spent the next five to 10 minutes camped on the Bulldogs line but unable to make any inroads following desperate defence.
Frank Pritchard sealed the win for the Bulldogs in the 75th minute and Brisbane winger Lachlan Maranta scored a consolation try in the 80th minute despite a fracas occurring in back play which took out half the players on the field.
Next week the Bulldogs host the Dragons on Friday night while the Broncos host the Warriors on Monday night with all Origin players unavailable for their respective clubs.
Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 24 Brisbane Broncos 14
Venue: Stadium Australia
Halftime Score: Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 6-4
LeagueUnlimited.com Players of the Match:
3 points - Frank Pritchard
2 points - Aiden Tolman
1 point - Ben Barba
CANTERBURY-BANKSTOWN BULLDOGS (24)
Tries: Ben Barba, Sam Kasiano, Aiden Tolman, Frank Pritchard
Conversions: Trent Hodkinson (4/4)
BRISBANE BRONCOS (14)
Tries: Josh Hoffman, Jordan Kahu, Lachlan Maranta
Conversions: Corey Parker (1/3)
LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary
Bulldogs: 1. Ben Barba 2. Mitch Brown 3. Timoteo Lafai 4. Josh Morris 5. Sam Perrett 6. Josh Reynolds 7. Trent Hodkinson 8. Aiden Tolman 9. Michael Ennis (c) 10. Sam Kasiano 15. Josh Jackson 12. Frank Pritchard 13. Greg Eastwood
Interchange: 14. Dene Halatau 16. James Graham 17. Dale Finucane 21. Tim Browne
Broncos: 1. Corey Norman 2. Josh Hoffman 3. Jordan Kahu 4. Justin Hodges 5. Lachlan Maranta 6. Ben Hunt 7. Peter Wallace 8. Josh McGuire 9. Andrew McCullough 10. Sam Thaiday (c) 11. Alex Glenn 12. Matt Gillett 13. Corey Parker
Interchange: 14. Jake Granville 15. Scott Anderson 16. David Hala 17. Jarrod Wallace
Friday Night Football with LeagueUnlimited comes to you live from a rather chilly and at times wet ANZ Stadium in Sydney for tonight's Round 11 encounter between Canterbury and Brisbane. The home side will look to bounce back from last week's 44-8 hammering at the hands of the Knights while the Broncos will look to replicate their 32-6 victory over the Titans seven nights ago.
In the Holden Cup, the 'Dogs lead 30-14 with about half an hour to play. When we have team news you hear it here first. Kick-off scheduled for a little after 7.35pm.
TEAM CHANGES just to hand and the Broncos will be 1-17 despite centre Justin Hodges doing minimal contact work with the team throughout the week.
Just the one TEAM CHANGE for the Canterbury side with Tony Williams ruled out after suffering an ankle injury against the Knights last week. He will be replaced in the run-on side by Josh Jackson with Tim Browne onto the Bench in jersey #21.
Fulltime in the Holden Cup and the Bulldogs have run out 40-20 victors over the Broncos.
Brisbane head out onto ANZ Stadium and take up their position at the northern end where they will kick off. Michael Ennis takes the home side out where they are greeted by a reasonable sized crowd despite the weather.
Both sides now observe a moment's silence following the death of Des Hasler's brother Daniel who passed away during the week.
1 min: We're underway!
1 min: Mistake free from the Dogs and Hodkinson's kick trickles dead. Broncos 20m restart.
2 min: Hunt goes to the air and Gillett knocks the ball on after the Dogs players stood and watched the ball come down. Changeover.
3 min: Hodkinson kicks towards Maranta before the ball goes backwards and Pritchard then knocks on.
5 min: Reynolds' bomb is terrible and Norman takes it in the in-goal. 20m restart.
5 min: PENALTY Broncos. Eastwood caught offside.
7 min: Trysaving tackle from Barba on Maranta.
7 min: Barba takes Wallace's kick into the in-goal on the full. 20m restart.
8 min: Maranta takes Barba's cross-field kick well despite pressure from Brown.
10 min: TRY CANTERBURY-BANKSTOWN BULLDOGS
Scored by Ben Barba. Conversion attempt by Trent Hodkinson successful.
Barba opens the scoring for the Bulldogs! Nothing looked like it was happening so the fullback put a kick in which rebounded off Hodges back into his arms before he muscled his way into the in-goal. Hodkinson adds the extras from beside the posts.
Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 6-0
12 min: PENALTY Bulldogs. Broncos offside.
14 min: Hodges scoops up the loose ball off another cross-field kick by Hodkinson.
15 min: Norman lets Hodkinson's bomb bounce but then recovers.
15 min: Kahu knocks on for the Broncos. Bulldogs scrum 30m from the Broncos line.
17 min: Pritchard goes to bang the ball down but the Broncos defence holds and forces the ball loose.
19 min: Reynolds tries to force a repeat set but his kick goes dead. Broncos 20m restart.
20 min: PENALTY Broncos. Wallace ruled to have been tackled high despite replays suggesting otherwise.
21 min: Hodges tries to kick into the in-goal but Pritchard deflects the ball off his legs and dives on it.
21 min: PENALTY Bulldogs. With the tackle completed the defence attempts to put him over the sideline.
21 min: PENALTY Bulldogs. With the tackle completed the defence attempts to put him over the sideline.
21 min: PENALTY Bulldogs. Two man strip.
22 min: The ball is shifted to the 'Dogs right side before Lafai spills the ball.
23 min: VIDEO REFEREE: Possible Broncos try.
23 min: No try. Barba saves another one as Hoffman puts his pink boots on the sideline just before planting the ball in the corner.
26 min: PENALTY Broncos. Finucane laying on the tackled player for too long.
26 min: Parker loses the ball in a good low tackle by Ennis.
27 min: Ennis has the ball knocked out by Wallace but he dives on the loose ball. Six again.
28 min: Hodkinson trickles the ball into the in-goal before Morris throws Maranta over the dead-ball line. Broncos dropout.
29 min: Reynolds attempts to throw a miracle ball but propels it forward. Broncos scrum.
30 min: Maranta bats Wallace's kick back into the arms of Hodges who weights a perfect kick into the in-goal. Barba is tackled by Wallace. Bulldogs dropout.
32 min: TRY BRISBANE BRONCOS
Scored by Josh Hoffman. Conversion attempt by Corey Parker unsuccessful.
Hoffman scores for the Broncos in the left corner. Second man play put Norman on the outside of his man before he delivered the pass to Hoffman. Barba and Ennis did their best to hold him up but he eventually forced the ball on his second attempt. Parker can't add the extras from out wide.
Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 6-4
34 min: Wallace is hit in a great tackle on the first tackle and drops the ball. Bulldogs on the attack.
35 min: PENALTY Bulldogs. Hodges ruled to have taken Brown out in chasing the ball.
36 min: Scrappy play from Canterbury but luckily for Reynolds the pass was knocked on. Bulldogs scrum.
37 min: Peter Wallace dives on a speculator pass from Finucane.
37 min: PENALTY Broncos. Kasiano offside.
40 min: Razzle dazzle from the Bulldogs but Morris throws the pass back to Barba who is taken ball and all.
40 min: Some enterprising play from the Broncos shows quick hands before Hoffman is pulled down after getting halfway into the back play.
40 min: Halftime at ANZ. Bulldogs 6 lead Broncos 4.
41 min: Second stanza underway. Broncos with first touch of the footy.
43 min: Error-free footy to start the second half by both teams.
44 min: Norman puts the ball down on halfway after thinking about what he was going to do with the footy before he had it.
46 min: TRY CANTERBURY-BANKSTOWN BULLDOGS
Scored by Sam Kasiano. Conversion attempt by Trent Hodkinson successful.
Kasiano charges over from close range. Reynolds ran the ball on the last, found his big front rower who was never going to be stopped by McCullough. Hodkinson adds the extras from beside the posts to extend the lead past a converted try.
Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 12-4
50 min: Barba races 50m up field and finds Morris. Bulldogs on the attack.
51 min: Reynolds knocks the ball on on the last before Gillett and Granville head back up field for the Broncos!
51 min: PENALTY Broncos. Bulldogs slowing the play-the-ball down. Broncos on the attack.
52 min: Wallace kicks across field but Brown comes up with a good catch. 20m restart.
53 min: Double knock-on. Brisbane play-the-ball.
54 min: Hunt kicks long and the ball bounces dead. 20m restart.
56 min: Hodges loses the ball in a two-man tackle.
56 min: PENALTY Bulldogs. Granville with a leg pull.
57 min: TRY CANTERBURY-BANKSTOWN BULLDOGS
Scored by Aiden Tolman. Conversion attempt by Trent Hodkinson successful.
Tolman crashes over next to the posts and extends the lead even further for the home side. Ennis engaged the markers before delivering a perfect pass onto the front-rowers chest. Hodkinson adds the extras from alongside the posts.
Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 18-4
59 min: Controlled set by the Dogs after scoring points. Hodkinson finds touch 15m from the Broncos line.
61 min: PENALTY Bulldogs. Broncos offside.
62 min: Ennis forces a repeat set with a clever kick. Broncos dropout.
64 min: Bulldogs knock on on the last. Changeover 5m from the Broncos line.
64 min: PENALTY Broncos. Eastwood ruled to have twisted the legs unnecessarily.
65 min: Hodges kicks on the 3rd tackle and Barba picks up the ball before he's thrown into the in-goal. Bulldogs dropout.
67 min: VIDEO REFEREE: Possible Broncos try.
67 min: TRY BRISBANE BRONCOS
Scored by Jordan Kahu. Conversion attempt by Corey Parker unsuccessful.
Kahu comes up with an amazing play by outleaping Perrett before planting the ball in the corner after a great Corey Norman kick. Parker again misses from out wide.
Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 18-8
68 min: The rain starts to fall again here at ANZ Stadium.
68 min: PENALTY Broncos. Pritchard ruled to have taken Wallace high.
69 min: Hunt kicks towards his winger but Brown gets his hand to the ball and knocks it over the sideline. Broncos 10m scrum.
69 min: PENALTY Broncos. Reynolds interferes with the player playing the ball.
69 min: PENALTY Broncos. Bulldogs offside.
71 min: The boys get a bit upset and exchange pleasantries as the rain continues to fall.
71 min: In all the scrappiness of the play from the Broncos, Hoffman puts his foot on the sideline. Bulldogs scrum.
73 min: PENALTY Bulldogs. Broncos with a two-man strip.
74 min: Hodges knocks the ball on trying to play it quickly. Bulldogs scrum.
75 min: VIDEO REFEREE: Possible Bulldogs try.
75 min: TRY CANTERBURY-BANKSTOWN BULLDOGS
Scored by Frank Pritchard. Conversion attempt by Trent Hodkinson successful.
Pritchard gets a well-deserved try! Hodkinson grubbered in behind the defence before Hunt fumbled the ball and Pritchard raked the ball out of his possession perhaps in a forward motion but the referees in the box ruled otherwise. Hodkinson again adds the extras.
Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 24-8
78 min: Kasiano squashes Norman after Hodkinson again comes up with a good kick to the corner.
78 min: Ennis charges Wallace's kick down before knocking on. Broncos scrum.
80 min: TRY BRISBANE BRONCOS
Scored by Lachlan Maranta. Conversion attempt by Corey Parker successful.
Maranta scores a consolation try with some quality quick hands despite a disagreement in back play. With half the players exchanging pleasantries, play was allowed to continue. Parker adds the extras from out wide.
Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 24-14
80 min: Fulltime at ANZ Stadium and the Bulldogs have returned to the winner's circle with a 24-14 victory.