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The Brisbane Broncos have continued on their merry way at the top of the NRL ladder with a comfortable 20-12 victory over a disjointed Canterbury Bulldogs in front of 30,538 fans at Suncorp Stadium.
An absorbing first half of football took just three minutes for first points to be scored. On the back of back-to-back penalties, the right boot of Corey Parker landed a successful penalty goal to give the Broncos an early lead. For the next 10 minutes, the Bulldogs couldn't get themselves out of their own half and it seemed to be a matter of time before the Broncos posted points. The home side finally breached the Bulldogs defence in the 11th minute through captain Darren Lockyer. Taking advantage of an inside pass from Peter Wallace, former Bulldog Ben Hannant charged through some feeble ruck defence, before drawing Ben Barba and sending the Brisbane captain on an unimpeded run to the tryline, scoring alongside the posts. For the next 15 minutes, it seemed to be a matter of time before the Broncos extended their lead, but the Bulldogs kept on turning up in defence, before hooker Michael Ennis came up with a big play in the 25th minute. With the Broncos again pressuring the Canterbury tryline, Ennis stole the ball one-on-one off opposite number Andrew McCullough. The Bulldogs marched down the field, before a piece of brilliance by Ben Barba opened their account. Running the ball through the middle of some tiring defenders, Barba showed fancy footwork, before being ankle-tapped by Sam Thaiday. The dynamic fullback got back to his feet, before kicking ahead for winger Michael Lett who scored alongside the posts. Steve Turner's successful conversion saw the 8-6 score remain the same until the halftime siren as the Bulldogs continued to clamber their way back into the contest.
The second half was just three minutes old when the Broncos extended their lead through winger Dale Copley. Chasing a kick back into the corner, Bulldogs winger Michael Lett tried a near-impossible pass to Ben Barba, which couldn't be handled by the fullback, allowing the Broncos winger to score the easiest of tries in the corner. Just five minutes later, the Broncos extended their lead in slightly controversial circumstances. Fullback Gerard Beale scored the try for the home side, after replays showed halfback Peter Wallace knocked on in the lead-up. Bulldogs players remonstrated with the referee, pleading for them to have a look at the replay themselves, but their pleas fell on deaf ears and the try was awarded. More points were scored three minutes later when Bulldogs fullback Ben Barba gave his side a sniff of victory when he latched onto a quality short pass from Corey Payne to score under the posts. The Bulldogs continued to gift the Broncos quality field position to put the result beyond doubt, but the Canterbury side and their defence would not wilt under the pressure as they continued to give themselves a glimmer of hope of an unlikely victory, but it wasn't to be as Darren Lockyer's kicking game ensured the Broncos remained at arms length until fulltime.
Unfortunately, both sides would be a little lacking in attack, as defence dominated the remainder of the match. Next week, the Broncos will host the Melbourne Storm on Saturday night, while the Bulldogs will have a chance to lick their wounds and have a weekend off to freshen up before tackling the Dragons.
Brisbane Broncos 20 defeated Canterbury Bulldogs 12
National Rugby League - Round 8 - Friday April 29, 2011 7:30pm
Venue: Suncorp Stadium
Referee: Gavin Badger and Adam Devcich
Video Referee: Tim Mander
Touch Judges: Ricky MacFarlane and Clayton Sharpe
Halftime: Brisbane Broncos 8 Canterbury Bulldogs 6
Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:
3 Points - Darren Lockyer (1 Try)
2 Points - Ben Hannant
1 Point - Ben Barba (1 Try)
BRISBANE BRONCOS (20)
Tries: Darren Lockyer, Gerard Beale, Dale Copley
Conversions: Corey Parker (3/3)
Penalty Goals: Corey Parker (1/1)
CANTERBURY BULLDOGS (12)
Tries: Michael Lett, Ben Barba
Conversions: Steve Turner (2/2)
LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary And a very good evening and welcome to Suncorp Stadium for tonight's Round 8 blockbuster between the Brisbane Broncos and Canterbury Bulldogs. Thanks for prizing yourself away from the riveting television that is the Royal Wedding and LeagueUnlimited will do our best to ensure you have done the right thing in not watching too much of that!
In team news just to hand, the Broncos are as per program, while the Bulldogs have just the one minor change. Grant Millington will come into the run-on side in jumper 15, forcing Mickey Paea in 10 back to the bench.
In the Toyota Cup curtain raiser with just eight minutes remaining, the Bulldogs look to have this one in hand, holding an 18-6 lead.
Fulltime in the Toyota Cup and the Bulldogs have run out convincing 24-6 victors over the Broncos.
1 min: And we're underway as the rain begins to fall here at Suncorp. The Broncos will defend the northern end and will kick-off.
1 min: Hodkinson's kick on the last goes straight down Copley's throat.
2 min: PENALTY Broncos. Stagg with a leg pull.
2 min: PENALTY Broncos. Bulldogs again hanging around too long in the ruck. Referees after a quick game here tonight it seems.
3 min: PENALTY GOAL
PENALTY GOAL Brisbane Broncos
Penalty goal attempt by Corey Parker successful.
Parker gets the Broncos underway here tonight, piloting the ball between the uprights.
Brisbane Broncos 2-0
5 min: Lockyer's kick on the last tackle goes straight to Lett, who is hit in a solid tackle from Yow Yeh.
6 min: Hodkinson's kick on the last tackle is again disappointing.
6 min: Thaiday comes up with a simple dropped ball, giving the Bulldogs their first chance of attacking field position.
7 min: Keating's kick goes straight over the deadball line. 20m restart Broncos.
8 min: Lockyer hoists a towering bomb which leaves Barba posted under it. Barba hangs onto the ball, but is pushed back into the in-goal. Goal-line dropout Bulldogs.
9 min: The Broncos run the ball on the last tackle, before Hodges puts in an innocuous kick which is taken comfortably by Idris.
11 min: TRY
TRY Brisbane Broncos
Scored by Darren Lockyer. Conversion attempt by Corey Parker successful.
Lockyer scores the first try of the night for the Broncos! Hannant steamrolled through the middle of the Bulldogs defence, before drawing Barba and sending the retiring captain on his way to score alongside the posts.
Brisbane Broncos 8-0
14 min: Lockyer puts up another towering bomb which is taken on the bounce by Idris. Idris is then thrown into touch, but the Broncos are ruled to have gotten a hand to the ball and the 'Dogs breathe a sigh of relief.
15 min: Pritchard tries an around-the-corner pass to Ryan which is put down. Broncos on the attack again.
17 min: Lockyer's cross-field kick can't be handled by Yow Yeh and Morris scoops up the loose ball and works it away from the 'Dogs tryline.
19 min: Wallace hoists a bomb towards the wing of Turner and the winger holds his ground and comes up with a good catch.
20 min: Keating chips into the corner, with the first quality kick from the Bulldogs all night and Beale can't handle the ball and takes it into touch. Bulldogs scrum.
21 min: PENALTY Bulldogs. A rare scrum penalty for feet across! We've gone back to the 80's with that one. The 'Dogs on the attack.
21 min: Pritchard again drops the ball in a solid tackle from Thaiday and the Broncos work the ball away from their line.
22 min: Try saver from the Bulldogs on a rampaging Thaiday through the skipper Andrew Ryan.
24 min: Wallace again puts up a pinpoint cross-field kick which is knocked on by Turner.
24 min: PENALTY Broncos. Kick chasers ruled to have been taken out.
25 min: Ennis comes up with a big play for the Bulldogs diving on a loose ball from dummy half.
26 min: TRY
TRY Canterbury Bulldogs
Scored by Michael Lett. Conversion attempt by Steve Turner successful.
Ben Barba comes up with a fabulous play! The little fullback was ankle tapped on halfway, before dancing around the Broncos defence, going again and kicking for the flying winger Lett who scored next to the posts.
Brisbane Broncos 8-6
31 min: Another terrible kick from Keating on the fifth tackle.
31 min: Lockyer's bomb is taken on the full in the in-goal by Lett. 20m restart Bulldogs.
32 min: Hodkinson grubbers into touch. Broncos scrum.
35 min: Hodkinson's kick on the last tackle is better as he puts it into the in-goal, but Beale dives back into the field of play.
36 min: Lockyer puts in a quality kick for the Broncos which finds touch 30m from the Bulldogs line. Scrum Bulldogs.
40 min: Lockyer runs the ball as the clock ticks down, before throwing a speculator which is dived on by Ryan.
Halftime here at Suncorp Stadium in a thoroughly absorbing contest where the Broncos hold a slender 8-6 lead over the Bulldogs.
41 min: And the second half is underway here at Suncorp Stadium.
42 min: Plenty of metres in the Broncos' first set and they almost cause trouble for the 'Dogs before Barba gets back and shields the ball from the kick.
43 min: TRY
TRY Brisbane Broncos
Scored by Dale Copley. Conversion attempt by Corey Parker successful.
Michael Lett comes up with a complete brain explosion! Wallace's kick into the corner was scooped up by the winger, before he threw the ball away and into the arms of Copley who scored in the corner.
Brisbane Broncos 14-6
47 min: The Bulldogs have gifted the Broncos another chance to extend their lead with another dropped ball.
47 min: TRY
TRY Brisbane Broncos
Scored by Gerard Beale. Conversion attempt by Corey Parker successful.
Beale extends the Broncos lead, diving over underneath some average goal-line defence from the Bulldogs despite their best pleas for the video referee to have a look. Replays suggest Wallace knocked the ball on cold in the lead-up, which escaped the referees eyes.
Brisbane Broncos 20-6
49 min: The Broncos knock the ball on from the kick-off through Kenny, giving the Bulldogs an opportunity to hit straight back.
50 min: TRY
TRY Canterbury Bulldogs
Scored by Ben Barba. Conversion attempt by Steve Turner successful.
Payne delivers a great offload which sees Ben Barba score underneath the posts and cut the Broncos lead!
Brisbane Broncos 20-12
52 min: Keating's kick on the last tackle is again very disappointing, finding the Broncos wingers on the full.
53 min: Wallace puts up another bomb to Turner, which is knocked on by the winger, before the Broncos also knock on. Goal-line dropout Bulldogs.
55 min: Ennis tries another one-on-one steal, but can't hang onto the ball, giving the Broncos another six tackles.
56 min: Some good scrambling goal-line defence by the Bulldogs repels the Broncos.
57 min: Keating's kick on the last tackle gains just 15m, but finds touch.
60 min: PENALTY Broncos. Stagg allows the Broncos to get out of trouble.
61 min: Wallace tries to grubber into the in-goal, but Barba picks up the ball off his bootlaces and defuses the situation.
61 min: PENALTY Bulldogs. The Broncos finally give away a penalty by being too eager to get off their line and force the error.
62 min: Hodkinson throws an absolutely terrible pass which is scooped up by the Broncos and away they go!
64 min: Yow Yeh stabs a kick towards the in-goal, but Lett dives on the ball just in the field of play.
64 min: The Bulldogs can't get off their own line and have to hand the ball over 10m out from their own line after Hodkinson tried to run the ball, before throwing a hospital pass to Barba who was monstered.
66 min: Beale knocks on as the Broncos still cannot land that knockout punch.
67 min: Ennis throws a forward pass from dummy half. It seems it is only a matter of time before the Broncos put the result beyond doubt.
68 min: A disappointing error from Beale keeps the Bulldogs in the contest.
69 min: Hodkinson chips over the top and instead of picking up the ball, Barba tries to put it on the boot again and kicks out on the full.
69 min: Wallace grubbers into the in-goal and Barba is bundled over the dead-ball line.
70 min: Lockyer weights a kick into the in-goal and Turner is tackled. Dropout Bulldogs.
72 min: Somehow the Bulldogs continue to hang on as the Broncos knock on.
73 min: Hodkinson's kick finds Yow Yeh on the full and the Broncos will start a set of six in good field position again.
74 min: PENALTY Broncos. Lockyer hit after kicking the ball.
75 min: Lockyer's pass to Glenn is ruled to have gone forward. Bulldogs scrum.
78 min: PENALTY Bulldogs. Wallace with a high tackle.
80 min: Wallace kicks to the corner and Turner gets there just in front of a flying Alex Glenn.
Fulltime here at Suncorp Stadium and the Brisbane Broncos continue on their merry way at the top of the table, running out 20-12 victors over the Bulldogs.