Bulls claim reserve grade title
THE Bankstown City Bulls capped a brilliant season, winning the NSW Cup grand final against Balmain Ryde-Eastwood Tigers 32-0 at ANZ Stadium yesterday.
Bulls halfback star Ben Barba scored a second-half hat trick of tries, including a 70 metre intercept effort, to give his side a convincing victory.
The Tigers had enjoyed a Parramatta Eels-like run into the decider, claiming the prized scalps of Wentworthville, Central Coast and North Sydney. But the greasy conditions got the better of the underdog-Tigers who blew four try-scoring opportunities in the first half as they failed to make crucial last passes stick.
Prop Fred Briggs scored the opening try under the posts for the Terry Lamb-coached Bulls in the sixth minute with fullback Brent Crisp making no mistake out in front to give his side a 6-0 lead in the seventh minute.
Crisp, who has set a new reserve grade record with 21 tries this season, extended the Bulls lead in the second half with two penalty goals to make it 10-0.
Barba touched down three times in 10 minutes for the minor premiers and Nick Taylor also found the chalk to blowout the score.
Lamb said he was proud of his side and paid special tribute to Barba who finished with 20 NSW Cup tries for the season. Barba dedicated the win to Lamb, who claimed his third premiership as coach.