21 Jul 2012

Wins for Bulldogs, Titans

6:41 am on 21 July 2012

The Canterbury Bulldogs claimed rugby league's grudge match of the year with a gripping 20-12 NRL victory at Manly that wasn't sealed until man-of-the-match Ben Barba scored his second four-pointer with two minutes remaining.

Bulldogs coach Des Hasler, who left the Sea Eagles last year one week after winning his second Premiership, watched his former side mount a stirring comeback after being down 12-0 at half-time at Brookvale before Barber's efforts capped off a sensational performance that also included two try-saving tackles.

Elsewhere the Gold Coast Titans scored a spirited 14-10 win over Brisbane at Skilled Park, aided by rugby league's first eight-point try in two years.

Veteran prop Luke Bailey scored the first eight-point try since Sydney Roosters' centre Shaun Kenny-Dowall against Manly in round 25 of the 2010 season.

Brisbane fullback Josh Hoffman was punished for striking Bailey in the face when attempting to punch the ball from his hands.

It could prove a costly night for the Broncos with their State of Origin forward Ben Te'o and fullback Hoffman both placed on report and several players appearing to suffer injuries.

The win keeps Gold Coast in touch with the top eight and puts Brisbane at risk of dropping out of the top four if South Sydney and Cronulla win their weekend games.