It was a solid and convincing performance by the Canterbury Bulldogs at their home ground as they brushed away the Parrmatta Eels with ease, though the bigger concern for the club will be the fitness of Ben Barba moving forward, with the live-wire fullback going off after just 10 minutes in some obvious discomfort.
With a right ankle injury and one that was clearly troubling him, Bulldogs coach Des Hasler says the club will know more on the injury tomorrow.
“He’s probably got what they call a syndesmosis and we’ll know the full story tomorrow when he has a scan but it will be weeks,” Hasler said.
As the Bulldogs aspire towards a top four finish, the loss of Barba might hinder those ambitions, with a syndesmosis injury – should it be that – usually one that keeps players out for fairly long periods of time.
Now within one point of the fourth placed Manly, Hasler said it was still to early to rule out Barba for the season.
“If he was out for a couple of weeks and we were near the end of the season it would be a big concern, but we still have six weeks to go,” he said.
“The medical team had a look at it, they did what they had to do and put it in a boot. We’ll know more dse 905 electronic cigarette starter kits tomorrow.”
Fill-in fullback Sam Perrett did a solid job for the Bulldogs, as did some of their other key players in James Graham and Josh Reynolds.
“Sammy is a pretty logical replacement. He has played a lot at one and is very experienced,” he said.
“He is a pretty cool customer.”
With the game finishing 40-12 in the Dogs favour, it started in a rather unorthdox fashion, with the Eels opting to start the game with a short kick-off, something described as a gamble by coach Eels coach Ricky Stuart.
With the Eels fans desperately crying out for Jarryd Hayne to make a return and potentially set to miss the rest of the year, Stuart said that if Australian coach Tim Sheens wants Hayne in his side, he will consider bringing him back for a few games.
“He might be able to be back for two or three games,” Stuart said.
“I’ve got to make a decision then if Tim wants him on the World Cup trip at the end of the year then we’ll start working him to get fit for that and get him some game time.
“If not I’ll make a decision on whether or not I’m going to play him again this year, but he’s still a couple of weeks away.”
3. James Graham
2. Tony Williams
1. Josh Morris