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Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs greatest XVII

Terry Lamb. Photo via triplem.com.au
Roar Guru
12th August, 2015
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3282 Reads

The Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs have been one of the most decorated teams in rugby league.

They have had some plenty of success, winning eight premierships.

Today I will continue my series by naming the best Bulldogs team ever.

1. Les Johns
14 caps for Australia, 16 for NSW

One of the greats from the 60s, Johns was the Bulldogs’ first ever superstar, his high football IQ and ability to pop up out of nowhere and his great defence made him Bulldogs best ever number 1.

His selection at fullback in the 1960s team of the century over Graeme Langlands shows how good he was. He was the first inductee in the Bulldogs Hall of Fame as well.

2. Hazem El Masri
1 cap for Australia, 1 for NSW, NRL All-Time Leading Point Scorer

Hazem may have been pretty short and not really fast for a winger, but that didn’t stop him from being NRL All Time top pointscorer.

It even sounds more phenomenal when you consider that he started goal kicking in his fourth year. He possessed a remarkable ability to finish tries, and was great at reading defences and shutting down attacking raids.

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However, he will always be remembered for his goalkicking, where almost every Bulldogs try would turn from 4 points into 6.

3. Josh Morris
4 caps for Australia, 9 caps for NSW, 2x time centre of the year

Josh Morris earns a spot on this team due to his blistering speed, which made him the league’s best try scorers.

His greatest strength, however, is his amazing defensive capability. His large frame has made him a rock in defence and has been the main culprit keeping Greg Inglis very quiet in multiple origins.

4. Nigel Vagana
37 caps for NZ, 2x centre of the year

Vagana played for numerous teams but he was at his best when he was with the Bulldogs, where in one game he scored 5 tries.

Vagana was a very strong centre and had one of the most scintillating steps in the game. His 37 caps for New Zealand show his consistency over a long period of time.

5. Chris Anderson
12 caps for Australia, 4 NSW

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Perhaps best known as premiership-winning coach, Chris Anderson was a mainstay on the Bulldogs wing for over 200 games, he was a jack of all trades player who was super reliable and consistent.

6. Terry Lamb
8 caps for Australia, 7 caps for NSW, 7 x Five-Eighth of the year, Rothmans Medal Winner, Dally M Medal winner

Terry Lamb was one of the greatest five-eighths to ever play the game, his strong desire, powerful will, toughness and unmatched competitiveness made him one of the most successful players in recent memory. He had great creativity and a high football IQ.

Having one of the best supporting games ever made him the league’s leading try scorer for multiple seasons, which is quite rare for a five-eighth.

7. Steve Mortimer
9 caps for Australia, 9 for NSW, captained NSW to their first State of Origin win

Mortimer was one of the most inspirational leaders and captains the game has ever seen. His was calm under pressure and could control a game with kicking game and great footy brain.

Mortimer was also very strong in defence. His famous cover tackles which saved countless tries, helped Mortimer to make the ‘Magnificent 7’ – the top seven halfbacks in the television era.

8. Steve Price
16 caps Australia, 28 caps Queensland, RLW Player of the year, Prop of the year

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Price was a part of the 1995 grand final-winning team which beat Manly. He was very young but stood up the Manly pack which showed the type of player he was.

9. Dr George Peponis
8 caps for Australia

A smart hooker who had the distinct accolade of being a qualified doctor, Peponis would go on to captain his country. He had knack of scoring from dummy half and was are excellent defender.

10. James Graham
23 caps for England, 5 for Great Britain, Man of Steel, RLIF Prop of year, Prop of the year

The British Bulldog is one of the greatest English players to play in the NRL. His toughness and superb ball skills for a prop has made him of the best big man in the game. However Graham’s greatest asset is his will to win, which seems to descend upon his teammates.

11. David Gillespie
19 Australia caps, 15 for NSW

Known for his hard-hitting ability, he was able to shore up defences and smash the defensive line. He was one of the main reasons why the ‘Dogs of War’ moniker came about.

12. Andrew Ryan
11 caps Australia, 12 for NSW

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Ryan probably had one of the greatest debuts as captain by winning the 2004 premiership, replacing the injured Steve Price.

13. Sonny Bill Williams
12 caps for NZ, RLIF player of the year

Despite how many Bulldogs fans may disagree due to the way he left the Dogs, there is no doubt in my mind he is the most talented and physically gifted player to wear the Bulldogs jersey.

Ball skills of half, almost unstoppable to tackle when running at full speed, incredible offloading ability, Williams had it all. It’s a shame he went to rugby as he could have been one of the greats in rugby league history.

Bench
Ben Barba, Willie Mason, Mark O’Meley, Peter Tunks