Bulldogs bash Broncos 44-22 - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Bulldogs bash Broncos 44-22

By Wayne Heming 12/06/2009 11:15:22 PM Comments (0)

There was a time when the Bulldogs were very tempted indeed to get rid of Ben Roberts.

These days, they can't get enough of him.

And by next week, they hope to ensure he doesn't go away any time soon.

Who would blame them after watching him inspire the Bulldogs' 44-22 NRL victory over a fatigued Brisbane at Suncorp Stadium on Friday night.

The former Kiwi international ensured a nightmare week for the Broncos ended disastrously, sparking an eight-tries-to-four win.

Known more for his exploits off the field rather than on it, Roberts, 23, knew something had to give in 2009 - his fourth first grade season.

"This year I have taken it upon myself to establish myself as a first grader and start believing in myself - it's starting to show out on the field," Roberts told AAP.

Barely halfway through the season, Roberts is a wanted man again - for all the right reasons.

After once being tagged "NRL bad boy", Roberts now comes with a very different description from the Bulldogs camp.

"He's a terrific kid," Bulldogs coach Kevin Moore said.

"We are looking forward to hearing some news on him over the next few days about him extending his time at the Bulldogs which would be great."

It is in stark contrast to when the Bulldogs had the axe poised after what appeared to be one too many off-field indiscretions.

"I just think it is a credit to Benny the way he has handled himself off field and really dedicated himself to his footy," Moore said.

"Benny's not a bad kid at all.

"He's just had a couple of incidents where he made some poor choices but he has put them well behind him."

Moore also hoped to extend the stay of another Bulldogs star on Friday night, two-try hero Bryson Goodwin.

Playing reserve grade for Cronulla just last year, Goodwin now tops the NRL try scorers list with 11 after switching camps following a good word from another Shark turned Dog, Brett Kimmorley.

The Broncos initially threatened to forfeit the match due to a disrupted preparation following a swine flu scare.

Indeed they had to break quarantine just to hold a last minute training session on Friday morning.

And Brisbane probably wished they had not rocked up after Roberts inspired the first four Dogs tries, before crashing over for one of his own in the 55th minute to swing the match the visitors' way 28-22.

After trailing 18-16 at halftime, the Roberts-inspired Bulldogs were never headed again following the pivot's try, piling on the final four four-pointers against a fading Broncos.

It capped a horror week for the Broncos who were also reeling from the passing of legendary talent scout Cyril Connell this week.

They defied orders from health authorities to attend Connell's service in Brisbane on Friday.

"It was a once in a lifetime week. I went out there tonight, it was another rollercoaster ride," Broncos captain Darren Lockyer said.

"We were trading blows pretty much the whole game but we just couldn't keep fighting in the end."

Lockyer agreed with Broncos coach Ivan Henjak that they had lost confidence after conceding 92 points in their last two games.

"We've got to find some answers," Henjak said.

To add further spice to the clash, former Test prop Joel Clinton was added to the Broncos bench just days after copping a club record $50,000 fine for bringing a woman back to the team hotel ahead of their May 22 clash with the Wests Tigers.

The Broncos took the field wearing black armbands in honour of Connell.

Brisbane's swine flu sufferer Karmichael Hunt and winger Antonio Winterstein, who had displayed symptoms on the H1N1 virus on Thursday, were cleared to play.

Bulldogs representative prop Ben Hannant, the first player diagnosed with swine flu, was also given the green light.

Bulldogs winger Hazem El Masri amassed a personal tally of 20 points, including two tries.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2024 AAP

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