Barba and Dogs cut Sharks to shreds - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Barba and Dogs cut Sharks to shreds

By Adrian Warren 04/07/2010 06:33:58 AM Comments (0)

Canterbury excitement machine Ben Barba pushed his own long-term claims to the club's five-eighth position with a sparkling display in his team's 24-12 NRL win over Cronulla in Gosford.

The win, just the Bulldogs' fifth of the season, moved them level on points with the Sharks, four points off eighth spot.

It was the first time in over two months the Bulldogs had recorded back-to-back wins.

The Bulldogs were held scoreless in the second half for the second straight game, but did all the damage before the break, leading 24-8 at halftime.

Having earlier in the week announced the 2011 signing of Parramatta's Kris Keating - who plays primarily at five-eighth - Barba chose a good time to remind Bulldogs coach Kevin Moore of his undoubted talents.

Making only his third start of the season, Barba boosted his try tally for the year to 12 in 13 appearances with a double and threw the pass for a four-pointer to hooker Blake Green.

Recent NSW Origin centre Jamal Idris, who is playing just his second game in the second row, busted through three tackles to score the Bulldogs' other try.

They scored three converted tries in the first 17 minutes to set up an 18-2 advantage.

Barba put the Sharks on the back foot immediately with a perfectly executed 40-20 in the opening set, before setting up Green.

Idris' try capped off a horrid couple of minutes for Sharks winger Blake Ferguson.

He had a try disallowed for stepping into touch and then gave the ball away near his own 20-metre line with Idris crossing from the ensuing set.

Barba put his stamp on the game again with a dazzling solo try, beating two defenders.

Ferguson's night improved when he took another high kick to score the Sharks' first try.

Cronulla got within 10 points following the sideline conversion to five-eighth Scott Porter.

However, Barba then pounced on a Porter kick to race 40 metres for his second try, with winger Bryson Goodwin landing his fourth goal to give the Dogs a 16-point halftime buffer.

A lacklustre second half produced little excitement, with centre Dean Collis crossing for the Sharks in the 76th minute, while the Bulldogs had tries to winger Bryson Goodwin and centre Shane Neumann disallowed.

Bulldogs coach Kevin Moore said the last two weeks had given Barba the chance to step up and play a full game.

"I think he's still got some things to learn and we'll work through that over the coming weeks, but he's getting better and better and you can see he's just starting to feel more comfortable within himself," Moore said.

"Defensively I thought he was quite solid tonight. There's still a couple of parts of his game, he gets a bit tired at the back end of games, but that's something that will come with the experience of playing 80 minutes week in week out."

Sharks coach Ricky Stuart lamented three errors which cost his team 18 points, but was pleased with their second half effort.

"We had a dropped ball at the play the ball where we turned over possession, a really poor miss and a charge down and it turned into 18 points," Stuart said.

"We gave away 18 points too at the start of the game last week and we can't afford to do that, we're not that good a footy team."

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