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The Bulldogs have leapt to the competition lead tonight after a 44-22 victory over the Brisbane Broncos at Suncorp Stadium tonight in front of 26,353 fans.
A commanding performance from Bulldogs five-eighth Ben Roberts saw the visitors skip away convincingly in the second half, the Broncos tiring as the latter stages of the match wore on.
The signs were ominous early as the Bulldogs earned a penalty to march into the attacking zone, and shortly after Josh Morris was over in the corner. Minutes later he was in again for his double. A big talking point early on was Hazem El Masri's first attempted conversion missing badly.
The momentum shifted soon after, the Broncos gave the Bulldogs a rattle and scored in their first attacking raid. Another try at the half-hour mark put the Broncos in the lead but the Bulldogs struck back almost immediately through a Hazem El Masri try.
Stunningly, despite all the momentum being with Canterbury, the Broncos scored on halftime and it was the home side in front at the break. leading 18-16.
The second half started with the Bulldogs opening the scoring, and reclaiming the lead through the first of Bryson Goodwin's two tries. Brisbane struck back after 50 minutes but it would be their last points as tired legs started to show, almost certainly as a result of the lack of preparation due to the swine flu concerns that shrouded the match throughout the week.
The 'Dogs capped the game in the final 25 minutes, racing out to a 20 point lead by fulltime, with Goodwin grabbing his second, Hodgson powering over the line and El Masri taking an intercept to grab a double also. But the try of the night goes to LeagueUnlimited.com's man of the match Ben Roberts, who stampeded past countless Brisbane defenders and scored all on his own.
The Broncos will lick their wounds and will have an extended preparation, they face the Sharks on Monday night at Toyota Stadium, 10 days from now. The Bulldogs will continue to be tested when they finally go home to ANZ Stadium and host Penrith.
Match Details Canterbury Bulldogs 44 def Brisbane Broncos 22 Round 14 - Friday June 12th, 2009 07:35pm Venue: Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane Referee: Tony Archer & Shayne Hayne Touch Judges: Paul Holland & Gavin Reynolds Video Referee: Bill Harrigan Crowd: 26,353 Halftime: Broncos 18-16
Brisbane Broncos 22 Tries: Jharal Yow Yeh (2), Lagi Setu, Ashton Sims Goals: Corey Parker (3/4) Canterbury Bulldogs 44 Tries: Josh Morris (2), Hazem El Masri (2), Bryson Goodwin (2), Ben Roberts, Michael Hodgson Goals: Hazem El Masri (6/8)
LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary Talk about the game as it happens - Broncos v Bulldogs forum discussion - click here!
After all the speculation surrounding the Broncos' swine flu crisis we are here and we are going ahead at Suncorp Stadium tonight - the Bulldogs have arrived at the old Lang Park and it's game on not long from now.
Despite all the drama, just two changes, with Palmer Wapau dropping off Brisbane's bench, replaced by Joel Clinton. The Bulldogs have done their usual match-day swap, Warburton will start in jersey 14, swapping his bench spot for Greg Eastwood's second-row job. Eastwood will start from the bench.
BRONCOS: 1. Karmichael Hunt 2. Antonio Winterstein 3. Steve Michaels 4. Israel Folau 5. Jharal Yow Yeh 6. Darren Lockyer (c) 7. Peter Wallace 8. Nick Kenny 9. Andrew McCullough 10. Josh McGuire 11. Sam Thaiday 12. Ben Te