I prefer service tempered hardboard (smooth on both sides) but have used regular hardboard as well. I've laminated the rough side to ply and to solid woods witout a problem. I have not laminated the two rough sides together before.
I would assume the failure was due to the absorption of the 'open' rough side material creating a starved joint(?). I would mix up some glue-size by adding some water to the glue you plan to use, stir well and brush a thin coat onto one or both rough surfaces. After about an hour, apply your (un-thinned) glue like usual and clamp it up for a few hours. If your test piece works, I'd leave the production piece clamped overnight just to be sure.
Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
- Arthur C. Clarke