Ryan the focus for Dogs, not NRL miracle - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Ryan the focus for Dogs, not NRL miracle

David Beniuk 03/09/2011 01:52:47 PM Comments (0)

Canterbury's final round focus will turn to a fitting farewell for captain Andrew Ryan, with the club now needing to better the competition's biggest ever winning margin to miraculously make the NRL play-offs.

Newcastle's 40-24 win over South Sydney on Friday night proved the worst possible outcome for the Bulldogs, who face the virtually impossible task of beating Canberra by 90 points to claim eighth spot.

That would mean reversing an unwanted piece of history from the Dogs' own record books, the 85-point thrashing by St George in Canterbury's first season, 1935, that is still the league's record winning margin.

The Dragons won 91-6 at Earl Park on May 11, 1935, scoring 19 tries and 17 goals.

Les Griffin bagged 36 points through two tries and 15 goals, still the equal record for goals in a single game.

The Bulldogs' biggest win over the Raiders may have been recent - a 52-4 win in 2007 - but tryscoring whiz Ben Barba would need to morph into Sachin Tendulkar to pull this one off.

The entertainment value should be high with X-factors Barba, Jamal Idris, Josh Reynolds and Kris Keating unlikely to want to die wondering, but a win in Ryan's last game will be the realistic goal.

"He's just got time for everyone and he's just one of those blokes that you look up to," halfback Trent Hodkinson said.

"He's just very professional at training, away from training, on the field, he's just one of those types of guys and hopefully he can have a big game and we can get a win for him."

Hodkinson said the side would train normally in the lead-up to the game, but would try to put on some points.

"We play our best footy when we're pushing up and we've got plenty of people around the ball and we play that ad lib style of footy," he said.

"Everyone will be bouncing on Sunday and keen to obviously send Bobcat (Ryan) out on a win and hopefully rack up a few points."

Ryan isn't the only player exiting the Bulldogs, with Idris (Gold Coast), Michael Hodgson (retiring) and Ben Roberts (Parramatta) among the others.

Retiring Canberra captain Alan Tongue plays his last game and Canterbury will include him in a tribute at ANZ Stadium.

The Raiders, who won the round 11 clash between the sides 20-12, will be keen to avoid a cricket score as the result of the Gold Coast-Parramatta game on Saturday could leave them in the running for the wooden spoon.

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