17 hours ago
Barba brilliant as Bulldogs repel Rabbitohs
Bulldogs livewire fullback Ben Barba has again been a stand-out, starring in Canterbury's 36-24 victory over South Sydney in front of 22352 fans at ANZ Stadium tonight. The fullback scored two tries and had a hand in several others as the Bulldogs continued their march up the table.
The Rabbitohs got off to the worst possible start, with the kick-off sailing out on the full, but as was on show on Monday night, their defence would not wilt under the early pressure and questions in attack the Bulldogs would ask. Instead, it would be the Rabbitohs who would get the scoring underway through second-rower Dave Taylor. Bursting onto a short ball off five-eighth John Sutton, the towering forward burst through an attempted tackle by Bulldogs centre Jamal Idris with the help of halfback Trent Hodkinson, to score out wide. Chris Sandow made no mistake adding the extras from out wide. Unfortunately for the Rabbitohs faithful, that would be their only joy in the opening 40 minutes. Slowly the Bulldogs started to grind their way back into the contest, and halfback Hodkinson scored his side's opening try in the 12th minute. Standing at first receiver, the diminutive halfback dummied to Idris, before slicing through. Bulldogs fullback Ben Barba put his sides' nose in front, after winger Steve Turner scooted out of dummy half and took full advantage of some lazy Rabbitohs' marker defence. The home side extended their lead in the 31st minute through interchange forward Grant Millington, after some bustling lead-up work from Idris. The big centre pushed away from several Rabbitohs defenders, before finding Hodkinson, who then offloaded to Millington who did well to pick up the pass from around his bootlaces to dive over alongside the posts. In the shadows of halftime, Barba and Hodkinson were at it again. Taking the line on, Hodkinson found some lazy marker defence on the inside, passing a short ball to Barba who burst through, who then found hooker Michael Ennis in support. The hooker raced 15m untouched to score under the posts as the halftime siren sounded.
Any hope of a Rabbitoh revival was sparked in the 54th minute when halfback Chris Sandow took full advantage of a tiring Bulldogs defensive line. After the Rabbitohs attacked the