SYDNEY - Canterbury secured their first NRL minor premiership since 1994 and set up an opening week finals grudge match against Manly after crushing Sydney Roosters 42-10 on the back of yet more Ben Barba brilliance.
Barba, expected to be crowned the season's best at Tuesday's Dally M awards, added another highlight to his lengthy reel of special moments with a brilliant second half try at ANZ Stadium.
It was one of seven tries for the Bulldogs as they put a punctuation mark on a dominant regular season, the result pitting coach Des Hasler against the club he led to two premierships before leaving in acrimonious circumstances in next week's qualifying semi-finals. The win confirmed the Bulldogs as minor premiers in all three grades, with the club's Toyota Cup and NSW Cup sides having confirmed their first-place finishes earlier in the day.
But coach Des Hasler wasn't getting too carried away with what his side had accomplished.
"It's a great club achievement, but now we get down to the pointy end, let's be honest," Hasler said.
"It was a nice presentation, we get on with the job now.
Added skipper Michael Ennis:
"It's a good pat on the back, but it's nothing more than that to be honest ... it's certainly not the goal we're after."