Canterbury big man Tony Williams says he’s told five-eighth Josh Reynolds to be smarter about his play when he returns from a three-week NRL ban on Sunday.
NRL star Josh Reynolds has been told by his Canterbury teammates he needs to play smarter – and, please, don’t get suspended.
The mercurial No.6 returns from a three-week ban – his second of the season – in Sunday’s final-round clash with Gold Coast at Cbus Super Stadium.
It’s a crucial match for the Bulldogs, who could miss the finals with a loss if Brisbane and the Warriors both win.
A victory, however, would give them a sniff of a top-four berth.
Reynolds has only featured in two of the Bulldogs’ past eight matches, given he also copped a three-week suspension for a shoulder charge following State of Origin III.
“Getting Josh Reynolds back is a big boost to our attack,” said big man Tony Williams, who helped fill the five-eighth role during Reynolds’ absence.
“He plays a big part in our team and obviously he’s done a lot for the club.
“He gives us a lot of confidence.”
But with ill-discipline costing Reynolds valuable game time, and the finals around the corner, Williams said the Bulldogs needed their No.6 to be more intelligent about his play.
“Not really stop the aggression – that’s what he builds his game on,” Williams added.
“We love the passion that he plays with, he plays with his heart.
“We’ve told him just to keep the tackles low and be a bit smarter than what he has been … And just don’t get suspended.”
Back-rower Greg Eastwood admitted the Bulldogs had lacked some direction without Reynolds and welcomed the return of his leadership and composure – especially in attack.
“I guess our defence has been winning us games, so we’ve just to go focus on that this weekend,” he said.
“Josh will add that bit extra to our game.
“It’s always good to have a player like him back in the side.”
While the prospect of dropping out of the top eight and missing this year’s finals series is a reality, it’s not on the Bulldogs’ minds according to prop Aiden Tolman.
He believes they will beat the Titans if they can repeat the performance they produced against South Sydney last Thursday.
“If we go out there and perform like we know we can, then it won’t be a problem,” Tolman said.
“We know what we need to do.”