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Canterbury bounce back after tough month

Canterbury have bounced back from a tough month of football with an emphatic 46-12 win over Parramatta at ANZ Stadium.
Canterbury bounce back after tough month
by NRL

Canterbury have bounced back from a tough month of football with an emphatic 46-12 win over Parramatta at ANZ Stadium.

Scoring first before falling eight points behind thanks mainly to a controlled opening to the game with ball in hand from the Eels, the Bulldogs found the performance they'd been waiting for by running in eight tries in the win ? including a hat-trick to centre Josh Morris.

Ball-playing prop Sam Kasiano took man of the match honours in a game full of standouts, which included Morris, Kris Keating, Ben Barba and Josh Reynolds.

Bulldogs head coach Des Hasler said the win was just reward for the effort his side has shown over the past five weeks.

"We've been involved in some pretty tight tussles," Hasler said. "South Sydney and then the two testing games against Melbourne and Manly. They were tough games of footy.. physically taxing.

"(So) the timing was always going to be critical and dangerous on this game, against a side like Parramatta, who have been under a bit of pressure.

Getting up was always going to be the hard part, finding that energy. That was the biggest test that we had to face tonight."

The signs were good for the Bulldogs who scored on just their second trip into Eels territory to open the scoring through Morris, the try coming off a neat piece of interplay between Barba and Keating, who fired the last pass and would ultimately get assists in each of the centre's three tries.

But the Eels came to play and would take some beating, with their first half completion rate simply outstanding.

"We knew that they'd start pretty quickly, and they did that," Hasler said of the Eels, who stole a 12-4 lead on the Bulldogs before their eventual capitulation.

"I think they went 15 from 15 with their possession and they were playing really good footy. Nice and controlled, we had trouble controlling the tackle, they kicked us to death early.

"But the boys showed a lot of character being able to control the game, claw their way back in and consequently bounce back to play some good footy.

"We scored some good tries, it was an entertaining game of footy."

The opening stages were all Parramatta, up until Morris was handed an easy run to the corner to establish a 4-nil lead after 14.

The Eels cracked their first points in somewhat controversial circumstances five minutes later, when Ryan Morgan outjumped Jono Wright to score off a Casey McGuire cross field kick.

Referee Ashley Klein awarded the try outright despite more than a hint of doubt as to whether or not Morgan was held up by Wright and Barba in trying to ground the ball.

Luke Burt converted to put the Eels into the lead at six points to four.

The Eels added another on the half hour, when Ken Sio touched down off a Jarryd Hayne Grubber, with Burt again adding the extras for a 12-4 lead.

The Bulldogs shook their nerves shortly after the Sio try, when after being handed possession through a penalty and earling a repeat set, Morris went over for his second try off lead up from Kasiano and Keating again.

Having completed at near 100% for the half, the Eels quickly found their lead whittled down and soon it would disappear altogether as the Dogs piled on pressure and points to go into the break with a surprise 22-12 lead.

Each of their two tries to finish the half came through a combination of line break and deft passing, with Tim Lafai first hitting a cut out ball to touch down after James Graham and Reynolds combined.

Then Barba broke the line on the fifty one minute out from the break, handing off to Dene Halatau to outsprinted the defence to score under the posts.

Reynolds went another step towards confirming the reputation he is building for himself when he scored a solo four pointer eight minutes after the break.

Then Keating ? in arguably his best performance in Bulldogs colours - delivered Morris his third try for the night, sprinting clear before kicking long for the centre to win the race to touch down.

Goodwin converted both, and the Dogs were all but home at 34-12.

Further tries to Wright - who beat Hayne to the line after being released down the right wing - and Bryson Goodwin completed the rout for the Bulldogs, who move back into positive territory for the season having claimed their fifth win from nine starts tonight.

The Bulldogs head north to Brisbane in round ten, when they play a home double header clash against the Gold Coast Titans at Suncorp Stadium.

TELSTRA PREMIERSHIP
Bulldogs 46: Josh Morris 3, Tim Lafai, Dene Halatau, Josh Reynolds, Jonathan Wright, Bryson Goodwin tries; Bryson Goodwin 7 goals from 9 attempts
Eels 12: Ryan Morgan, Ken Sio tries; Luke Burt 2 goals from 2 attempts
At ANZ Stadium
Crowd: 28,214

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