Canterbury Bulldogs claim minor premiership

STEVE JANCETIC
Last updated 23:45 01/09/2012

Relevant offers

League

England coach Wayne Bennett names new assistant for Four Nations and Kiwis England coach Wayne Bennett names new assistant for Four Nations Anthony Mundine's call for anthem boycott rejected by AFL star Lance Franklin Manu Ma'u re-signs with the Parramatta Eels until the end of 2019 Cronulla Sharks rake Michael Ennis won't distract Melbourne Storm: Cameron Smith Cronulla Sharks claim underdog tag for NRL grand final against Melbourne Storm Anthony Mundine calls for anthem boycott at NRL and AFL grand finals Bromwich brothers look to emulate Burgess boys in Sunday's NRL grand final Cronulla's James Maloney relishes opportunity for third NRL grand final Canberra Raiders duo Jordan Rapana and Joseph Tapine get Kiwis callup

Canterbury secured their first NRL minor premiership since 1994 and set up an opening week finals grudge match against Manly after crushing Sydney Roosters 42-10 on the back of yet more Ben Barba brilliance.

Barba, expected to be crowned the season's best at Tuesday's Dally M awards, added another highlight to his lengthy reel of special moments with a brilliant second half try at ANZ Stadium.

It was one of seven tries for the Bulldogs as they put a punctuation mark on a dominant regular season, the result pitting coach Des Hasler against the club he led to two premierships before leaving in acrimonious circumstances in next week's qualifying semi-finals.

Showing last week's 34-6 flogging at the hands of Canberra was a mere aberration, the Bulldogs took just 45 seconds to get on the board via Josh Morris - though there again appeared some question marks over a Bulldogs decoy runner who appeared to take out Braith Anasta.

When Josh Jackson added another it was 12-0 after as many minutes - and the NRL official with JJ Giltinan Shield in the back of the car had started making his way to ANZ Stadium.

The Roosters threatened to spoil the party when Tautau Moga and Anthony Minichiello scoring tries five minutes apart to cut the deficit to two - and with Melbourne leading Wests Tigers across town, it appeared possible the Storm could snatch top spot.

The Bulldogs gave themselves some breathing space with another try before halftime to Frank Pritchard, but it was after the break they put the foot on the pedal with four unanswered tries.

The interchange of passing between the forwards which has been a feature of their play all year set up a brilliant Kris Keating try two minutes after the restart.

Then it was time for Barba to leave his mark, the fullback somehow getting to a Josh Reynolds kick just inside the dead-ball line for a 30-10 lead before Jackson added a late double to complete his hat-trick.

Ad Feedback

- AAP

Special offers
Opinion poll

Who is your pick for international league player of the year?

Shaun Johnson

Jesse Bromwich

Sam Burgess

James Graham

Greg Inglis

Johnathan Thurston

Vote Result

Related story: (See story)

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content