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Joined March 2021

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Every year I look through the draw to find dogs-eels games. I think they are my favorite matches. Still watch highlights of that ‘98 game.
Now that Burton is definitely not coming early Averillo should be backed as the 5/8 for this season. Hopefully the team can play with consistency and improve throughout the year. Winning 6-8 games would be a pretty good season for this squad.

Better than another loss, but Bulldogs fans should not get crazy

I think the treatment of John Morris is having an effect on the Sharks, and while one below average performance against a Knights team that had lost their last three games to sides that finished out of the eight last year could be an aberration, a further loss to the dogs the next week looks to me like the side is unhappy with the situation.

With Townsend moving on and the future of other players such as Dugan and Moylan (and many others) being publicly discussed I can’t see how the Sharks get back to being a top eight side this year. They’ve got the Storm, Panthers and Souths in the next three weeks so I guess we’ll see how they are at the end of that run.

That’s just my opinion based on my observations though. Maybe you saw something else in their last couple of games I missed. Thanks for your reply.

Better than another loss, but Bulldogs fans should not get crazy

Thanks for the reply.
I’m trying to keep grounded so while I was happy on Saturday night I became a bit more pessimistic on Sunday morning.
The effort from players on the inside defensively really picked up and probably made those ‘bombed tries’. I thought Napa had his best game for the dogs and the halves took the game on, especially in the first half. I know he’s young but Averillo could be really special if given time and support.
I can see your point with Capewell. The dogs seem to have gone a bit cray cray with edge forwards in recent years. Jackson does not have many years left and Stimson will probably be let go at the end of this year unless Barrett shifts him to the middle. Hopefully Topine and Doorey keep progressing and the dogs don’t have to go to market at all. Promoting juniors through to first grade has to be the club’s overall goal for sustained success.

Better than another loss, but Bulldogs fans should not get crazy

Thanks for the reply.
While Naden’s choice of preparation was a bit on the nose (sorry) he is a more potent option than what the dogs currently have. I know they were after Staggs but it sounds like they missed out. I’ve seen highlights of Alamoti in the dogs juniors but I hope they don’t rush him before he’s ready.

Better than another loss, but Bulldogs fans should not get crazy

Thanks for your comment.
Ben Barbs was unstoppable in 2012 and it was great to watch him. His manager really stuffed him by agitating for a move or a bigger contract. Maybe the Bulldogs could have been more accommodating. He did go on to win a premiership with the Sharks so I can’t be too sad for him.
Kevin Moore built that team in 2012 and the style of play was brought through by him. A great question that will never be answered would be how the Bulldogs would have gone with Moore instead of Hasler. Hindsight is a wonderful thing.
I think Hasler has tried to copy Melbourne by having a few players on big contracts and the rest of the squad being journeymen/average players. It works when all those players are healthy and playing but when one of them goes down… Even Bellamy missed Slater when he was injured and has just replaced him now with Papenhuyzen.

The downfall of the Bulldogs... and a way back

Thanks for the comment.
I’m not sure what went on with Morgan Harper while he was at the club. We had nothing in attack in the outside backs but he couldn’t get a run anyway. Was it an attitude problem?
The problem with having a war chest and going to market is that every player manager knows it and you end up paying overs. Maybe England has a few middles available but it’s gamble taking on a player not knowing if they are up to NRL standard. I thought Thompson was good last year and I hope he can be the player to lead us through.
As you stated, we have fifteen players off contract this year but I would like to think Barrett will re-sign a few of those. We are really missing Tolman clogging up that middle third in defence, but I’m not missing his two hit ups in our attacking sets.
I thought we had plenty of chances on the weekend to attack an average team but it seemed like we didn’t have any energy.
Love a Simpsons quote too. Lousy beatniks!!!

The downfall of the Bulldogs... and a way back

The forwards failed to get on the front foot all game. Hopefully Thompson comes back and makes a difference but I don’t think he’s as good as Graham when he came over. It will be interesting to see how Napa goes this weekend if the reports about him being offered to the panthers are true.
Hopoate has been a big letdown this year and seems to have lost pace. I think this is his contracts last year too.
Thanks for your comment.

The downfall of the Bulldogs... and a way back

Thanks for the reply.
The board at the Dogs have been pretty abysmal for a while now and I think Castle gave Hasler too much say in recruitment and contracts. Couldn’t believe Rugby Australia hired her after the Bulldogs stint.

The downfall of the Bulldogs... and a way back

Thanks for the reply.
I used the roosters recruitment as an option compared to the panthers as both models are successful. The roosters brought Mitchell through by targeting him in juniors. Same with Manu. The same idea in the same area brought them Cordner a while back. The roosters don’t have a junior base to draw upon so this recruitment model has been forced upon them.
I hope the dogs follow Penrith in nurturing an area in NSW (or Qld or NZ) and providing a pathway for players from outside Sydney. I can’t remember the last time I saw the Bulldogs in my area of country NSW. They had a trial on the south coast last year from memory, but even that game was six hours from me.
If Marshall-King and Flanagan score in the first half it’s probably a different game and this is probably a different article. I’m just hoping for a better performance on Friday.

The downfall of the Bulldogs... and a way back

Thanks for reading and replying.
Panthers currently have a hold on country NSW but it hasn’t always been this way. Phil Gould identified this neglected area when he took over the panthers and that club is now reaping the benefits. A look through their first grade team shows a mix of western Sydney with country born players like Burton and Yeo. An investment now would pay dividends down the track.

The downfall of the Bulldogs... and a way back

Thanks for your reply.
Averillo is a talented player but I don’t think 5/8 is his position. Maybe centre or possibly fullback. There are too many points being scored against the dogs so I think Lewis should come in. He gives another kicking option and is a strong defender.

The downfall of the Bulldogs... and a way back

Thanks for the reply.
The dogs weren’t too bad in the first half and maybe if Flanagan and Marshall-King score those tries it’s a different game. The problem for me was after the second try their attitude really dropped. The game was still there and the Broncos have had issues with comebacks after leading.

The downfall of the Bulldogs... and a way back

Thanks for the reply.
The days of buying your way out are over and the rebuilding of the club will be a long process. I’d like to see a seasoned prop come in though.
There will be a big clean out at the end of the year I think, hopefully Barrett is backed by the board long term and given more time than Dean Pay.

The downfall of the Bulldogs... and a way back

Thanks for your comment.
The Broncos weren’t great and I agree that the score line flattered them. The concerning thing for me was the drop off after the second try. The game was still there to be won and the Broncos have demons of their own regarding letting games slip away.
Flanagan was trying all game but apart from a couple of early touches Averillo offered no support. It’s hard to be too critical of them as the pack did not lay a platform for them.
I know they’ve signed Burton and Addo-Carr but hopefully they sign a quality prop to lead the team. We have missed Klemmer and Napa has proved a big disappointment

The downfall of the Bulldogs... and a way back

Thanks for your comment. It was cathartic to write about the Bulldogs after that game.
It’s an understandable decision by Piakura after that game but I’m hopeful the club can get some talent identification and recruit earlier.

The downfall of the Bulldogs... and a way back

The concerning thing for me was the attitude drop off after the second try. The Broncos were not much better than the dogs and the game was still in the balance.
I hope Doorey, Topine and Deitz all come in. We really need some energy in the pack.
Thanks for your feedback.

The downfall of the Bulldogs... and a way back