A crowd of 11,876 fans in Mackay witnessed Ben Barba's brilliance and Canterbury's resolute defence combine to upset Melbourne 14-4 in Round 16 of the NRL.

Barba scored the opening try of the game and finished the match off with a sensational try assist for Josh Morris to score, and his efforts complimented a defensive display that his captain Michael Ennis admitted he hadn't seen in a long time.

We are still a young side working away trying to improve each week, Ennis said after the match. (The win) was just a remarkable effort, the defence on our line there in the second half - I haven't seen that for a long time, so I'm really proud of the efforts of all the team.

It was all Canterbury early, with a short kick-off catching the Melbourne Storm off guard and the Bulldogs enjoyed sustained pressure inside the attacking 20m zone for the opening five minutes.

 Melbourne withstood the assault but next trip down into Storm territory, Mackay-bred Ben Barba poetically scored the first try of the match.

Josh Reynolds drifted right and kicked back infield for Barba who got a fortuitous rebound off the goalpost to score in the 10th minute.

Krisnan Inu converted and it was 6-0 Bulldogs, a just reward for their early dominance.

The game became a field position battle for the next 10 minutes, with the Storm unable to capitalise on a line drop out when Jonathan Wright defused a Cooper Cronk cross kick.

Reynolds was creating some half chances but each time the play broke down with an error. The good news was the Dogs were looking likely, while the Storm seemed to be just trying to hold on.


The Bulldogs broke through for their second try in the 32nd minute when Inu climbed high to grab a Kris Keating cross-kick and after lengthy deliberation from the video referee - Inu was given the benefit of the doubt.

However he missed the kick and Canterbury's lead was only 10 points heading into halftime.

Barba revved up the crowd with a weaving run in the 38th minute but Melbourne roped him in and forced the turnover.

The Storm then had two sets of six on the Canterbury line but the Dogs were resolute and kept Melbourne scoreless in the first half.

The second half began brightly for Barba - who was almost untouchable on kick-returns, but errors were keeping the Dogs deep inside their own territory.


Cameron Smith then made the Dogs pay with a beautiful stab kick in behind the line and Anthony Quinn beat Wright to the ball and touched down in the 48th minute.

Smith's conversion was blown wide by the strong breeze and the Storm were back within six points.

Ryan Hinchcliffe went over beside the posts in the 53rd minute and after a video referral for possible obstruction by Bryan Norrie, the try was disallowed.


The decision turned the game, as Barba then split the Storm near halfway on the next set of six from a Reynolds pass and linked with Inu for the centres second try of the afternoon.

Inu missed his conversion from the right and Canterbury led 14-4 after 55 minutes.

Melbourne then had another period of sustained pressure on the Canterbury line and the Dogs kept repelling set after set.

The way the Bulldogs dug in and defended through another ten minute period ensured they would hold onto their point lead until the final moments of the game, and give Barba a chance to send the fans home with a memory that will last forever.

Barba picked up a Cronk kick a foot inside the dead ball line, then beat two Storm defenders to get out of the in-goal, then beat at least two more before stepping past Cameron Smith and then had the presence of mind to chip back in field for a flying Josh Morris to score a try that will be hard to beat for try of the year. Inu converted for a 16 point victory.