Last Time Played: Bulldogs v Broncos

It’s been the best part of 15 months since these two sides last went head to head, with Brisbane making it seven wins from as many games with their 20-12 defeat of the Bulldogs at Suncorp Stadium in Round 8 last year.

In front of a crowd of more than 30,000, the Broncos produced a superb kicking game in a three-tries-to-two victory that ensured they remained firmly at the top of the NRL ladder.

Brisbane took an early lead when Corey Parker kicked a penalty goal in just the third minute but it was the brilliance of Darren Lockyer that saw them cross for the first try of the game when he threw a superb inside ball for Ben Hannant to burst clear before backing up to score alongside the posts.

Ben Barba then produced a moment of magic when he stepped through and worked his way past three defenders before putting in a well-placed kick for Michael Lett to score and close the gap to just two points at the break.

But two quick tries early in the second half broke the game wide open for the home side.

The first came directly from a shocking Lett mistake – the Bulldogs winger passing to no-one and Dale Copley capitalising to score in the corner. And three minutes later Gerard Beale was over after a scrappy lead-up to extend the score to 20-6.

Barba scored an opportunistic try from a Corey Payne offload with 30 minutes remaining but neither side troubled the scorer for the remainder of the game.

Canterbury missed 37 tackles and ran for just 1039 metres to Brisbane’s 1614 in a disappointing performance by the visitors.

Hannant was superb for Brisbane, making 181 metres from 21 runs and adding 30 tackles while Beale topped the territory count with 221 metres.

David Stagg and Michael Ennis worked tirelessly for the Bulldogs with 60 and 56 tackles respectively.