Bulldogs beat Raiders, Barba scores four - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Bulldogs beat Raiders, Barba scores four

Ben Horne 04/09/2011 04:44:55 PM Comments (0)

Canterbury were chasing a near-impossible target against Canberra on Sunday, but at least mercurial fullback Ben Barba finished the NRL season with a record in the Bulldogs 36-22 win over the Raiders.

Barba posted a scintillating four try performance, including two within two minutes, to end the season with 23 and finish as the equal leading tryscorer with South Sydney's Nathan Merritt.

But even so, the day belonged to retiring Bulldogs skipper Andrew 'Bobcat' Ryan - for good and embarrassing reasons.

The veteran second rower capped off his stellar career with a try in the 65th minute, but unfortunately a post-try celebration gone wrong almost turned the moment into a very painful one.

After running off some clever work from Ben Roberts and Frank Pritchard, Ryan rushed to the Bobcat excavator that was positioned behind the goal posts as a tribute.

But as he prepared to mount the machinery, Ryan slipped over and almost gave himself a very nasty groin injury to take into retirement.

The Bulldogs ran out for captain Ryan's last ever match knowing they needed to win by 90 points or more to leap-frog Newcastle on for and against and qualify for the top eight.

Canterbury were part of the last time the biggest winning margin was set in an Australian match, when they were on the end of a 91-6 hiding by St George in 1935.

But despite the Star Wars theme at ANZ Stadium and on the players jerseys and a Josh Morris try from their first set, the Bulldogs weren't capable of making fantasy a reality.

Falling short of that mark was expected, but that didn't stop Barba from continuing to be the 'force' behind the Bulldogs.

Barba's first try came in the 30th minute when he picked up a loose kick, bamboozled defenders Blake Ferguson and Reece Robinson with some light-stepping to score in the corner.

Then midway through the second half, with his side trailing by 18-8, Barba crossed from a Kris Keating kick and then moments later when he backed up a Morris bust.

He joined Merritt at the top of the prestigious tally when departing centre Jamal Idris generously flung a ball back to him in the 76th minute.

The fun wasn't quite over yet, Morris streaked 80 metres, with Barba choosing not to trail in support, and pulled off a swan-dive which presented Ryan with a fitting goal from in front to farewell the 'Dogs faithful after 291 first grade games.

Canberra led at halftime and were a chance to say goodbye to their retiring skipper Alan Tongue on a winning note right up until the final few minutes, mainly thanks to a double from five-eighth Josh McCrone.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2022 AAP

0 Comments about this article

Post a comment about this article

Please sign in to leave a comment.
Becoming a member is free and easy, sign up here.

« All sports news