Tigers merely purr while Dogs lose their growl

David Gavin Roar Rookie

By , David Gavin is a Roar Rookie

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    Belmore said goodbye to local product Josh Reynolds on Sunday. (AAP Image/Action Photographics, Charles Knight)

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    If there were two teams that were already looking to 2018, Canterbury and Wests Tigers could be leading candidates.

    After strong performances in the previous round, this week unfortunately highlighted the plight of both teams.

    The Bulldogs were first to show their wares on Thursday night. Coming off a trademark ‘Dogs of War’ performance against the Canberra Raiders, many expected the home side to emerge victors against North Queensland.

    However, despite the absence of their champion pivot Johnathan Thurston, it was the Cowboys who reigned supreme as the Bulldogs slumped to a 30-14 defeat.

    It was a familiar tale for Canterbury who did not score their first points until 12 minutes into the second half when trailing 24 nil. Along with the Tigers, Des Hasler’s side ranks equal last for points scored in the season thus far.

    This has led many to cite the importance of the Kieran Foran signing for next season which is hoped will give the Bulldogs some much needed direction in attack.

    Ironically, the other big name recruit for Canterbury next year is the injured Wests Tigers captain, Aaron Woods. Josh Reynolds on the other hand is going the other way, signing with the Tigers as a possible replacement for Mitchell Moses.

    Bulldogs Josh Reynolds looks on

    (AAP Image/Action Photographics, Charles Knight)

    Given the defeat to South Sydney on Friday night, it could be that Ivan Cleary needs the change.

    The Rabbitohs ran in five tries to one winning 28-6. South Sydney clearly had the advantage in the possession battle with a 56 per cent share but it was the defensive flaws of the Tigers that really told the story.

    Wests missed an incredible 57 tackles during the match – more than four times the missed tackles of the Rabbitohs with 14.

    There has been much uncertainty in recent times surrounding the club regarding their coach and four of their star players, yet it is hard to imagine any excuses meriting such a defensive display.

    The loss has left the Tigers wallowing in 15th position on the ladder with just one more win than the Newcastle Knights.

    It makes the signing of Reynolds and Ben Matulino for next year all the more important and whether the Tigers can secure the services of someone like Josh Dugan may also be key. Although, according to reports the Bulldogs are also competing for his signature seemingly putting pressure on Canterbury to keep James Graham.

    Whatever the outcome of contract negotiations, it remains to be seen how either team will use the rest of the season.

    After convincing losses to the Cowboys and the Rabbitohs respectively, both teams are now looking for answers.

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