Canterbury have been embarrassed in their fourth straight loss, a 41-10 hammering by Brisbane, which has bigger consequences before the NRL finals.
Des Hasler’s problems just keep mounting as Canterbury’s top-four claims, undeniable a month ago, have vanished into thin air.
The Bulldogs were embarrassed in their fourth straight loss, a 41-10 hammering by Brisbane, which has even bigger consequences in the run into the finals.
Hasler will be without giant prop Sam Kasiano for at least a fortnight due to a high ankle sprain while NSW five-eighth Josh Reynolds is in grave doubt for Friday night’s clash with arch-rivals Parramatta.
Reynolds epitomised the Dogs’ night at Suncorp Stadium, scoring the opening try before self-destructing in the second half.
He played arch-villain to perfection in front of a Brisbane crowd of 28,344, twice placed on report before being sin-binned with three minutes left for a high tackle on Alex Glenn.
Reynolds was lucky not to be sent off for a blatant trip on Ben Barba in the 70th minute while he’ll face just as much scrutiny from the match review committee for lashing out with a kick at Sam Thaiday when Canterbury had played themselves back into the contest.
There was a degree of milking by Thaiday when he was caught in the face but the justified resulting penalty was a massive momentum-turner from which the Bulldogs couldn’t recover.
So sensitive about the Reynolds situation, Hasler gagged skipper Mick Ennis from speaking about the reports and issued his own brief statement about his playmaker’s “bad night”.
“It was a tough lesson he learned tonight and he will cop his medicine and get on with it,” the coach said.
Centre Josh Morris, in his return from injury, said his State of Origin teammate was guilty of trying too hard to get the Dogs back on track.
“He was hurting probably just as much as me seeing the boys losing and had a chance to come back last week and he probably overplayed his hand a little bit just because that’s the type of player he is,” Morris said.
“He always wants to win and he competes well and sometimes he lands himself in hot water like tonight.”
Morris admitted the Dogs worst streak in 16 months was getting hard to take, especially due to their own fundamental errors in attack that’s impacting on their previously miserly defence.
“We’re killing ourselves, we’re shooting ourselves in the foot,” he said. “We’re not completing our sets, our off-loads aren’t sticking, the ball’s not bouncing our way.
“We’re just in a patch where we’re getting no luck.”