Canterbury have endured their least potent start to a season in 56 years, scoring just 24 points in their opening three losses ahead of Kieran Foran’s return.
Sunday afternoon’s 28-12 loss to Penrith made it apparent that the way the Bulldogs play cannot win a premiership.
The problems start with their spine.
William Hoppate is centre who filled in well at fullback, he is very safe, good positionally and smart, but he slow and not particularly good at ball playing.
Josh Reynolds and Moses Mbye are both five-eighths, and both have average kicking games.
Mbye is very talented, but never has enough ball. There a sets deep in the opposition half where he won’t even touch the ball, and when he does it is a predictable pass to a foward. Mbye showed his skills with the first try of the afternoon on Sunday that’s what he do when he runs the ball.
Still, Canterubry desperately need a halfback who can lead are team around the park and give them direction in attack.
As for Michael Lichaa, he just passes the ball from dummy half, posing zero danger to any opposition.
I am not blaming the players though – they really look like they are trying, but they are set up to fail.
The blame must fall directly on Des Hasler.
Des has failed to change following the success of 2012, when they made the grand final. The problem is the rest of the NRL have caught up, and Ben Barba was one one of the reasons why Bulldogs were successful in 2012, but he is no longer at the club.
The dilemma at hand is probably going to get worse, with no key signings, or rookie players to get excited about. Their defence and toughness will probably be enough for them to make eight in 2017, but they need a change of indentity – and that starts from the top, or you will see the same old recycled play.
While he has made finals in every year, and two grand finals in five years, Des has to go.