They had to do it the hard way, but the Canterbury Bulldogs have won their 6th straight NRL game, following a 32-20 win over the Wests Tigers, in front of just over 19,000 fans.
The game was the Barba and Morris show, as the two were in blistering form along with five-eighth Josh Reynolds – as Barba scored a try of his own and set up three more.
The win means that the Tigers are in danger of dropping out of the top eight if some other results go against them.
The game did not start off as well as many would have hoped, given the billing on this clash as the game of the round – with the first half as dour as they get.
That all changed in the second half, with 6 tries scored between the two teams, as they started to show their attacking flair, as well as throwing the ball around more.
Post-game, there was only praise for Barba, with coach Des Hasler saying:
“He continues to come up with those plays when we need them,” he said.
Dogs captain Michael Ennis was also praising his side’s fullback, saying it was his reliability as a player, that made him as good as he is.
“The most positive and pleasing thing – everyone talks about his special moments – but it’s just his overall game and consistency in it,” said Ennis.
“There are some good fullbacks around and to have his name tossed up with those guys is a real credit to him.”
For Barba, he was as humble as ever – merely stating that he is doing the job that is expected of him.
“I’m just doing my job – what’s winning us games is everyone doing their job and it’s coming together as a team,” said Barba.
“When they brought Dessie we knew what he demanded was a lot of hard work.
“It was a bit of a fright for everyone.”
For Tigers coach Tim Sheens, whilst he was disappointed with the loss, he praise his side’s resiliency to get themselves back into the game at one stage.
“We really lost some momentum coming back out (after halftime) and didn’t start well,” said Sheens.
“We regained ourselves, the game was there for us but we weren’t good enough in the end.”