Monday, September 25, 2023

NRL News | Canterbury Bulldogs season preview, The Mole

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The only way is for dogs, with a new trainer and a much stronger roster following some smart signings.

RECRUITMENT: Dogs have wasted no time trying to erase the disappointments of their bad 2020 season and have probably stacked up as – if not better – than any club in the league.

Nick Cotric (Raiders), Corey Allan (Rabbitohs), Corey Waddell (Sea Eagles), Jack Hetherington (Panthers) and Kyle Flanagan (Roosters) are all quality signatures and should work across the top.

STRENGTHS: A loaded pack that has continued to appear despite the club’s troubles from last season has been spurred on by Waddell and Hetherington. They should lay the platform for dangerous outside full-backs, including marquee signing Cotric.

WEAKNESSES: The halves were a problem for the Bulldogs last season and the loss of Kieran Foran and Jack Cogger puts the heat on Roosters’ rejection Kyle Flanagan. He found the situation difficult during back-to-back Roosters Premiers – it won’t be easier with the last dogs.

A priority will be to find a man to find the big games at the end of the matches. The Dogs were behind in 13 games at halftime last season… and have all lost.

MAN UNDER PRESSURE: Dallin Watene-Zelezniak is a class act in his time but fought for consistency in 2020.

He scored just two tries in 18 games and was shunted between full-back, wing and center, making 22 errors – one of the highest rates in the league.

ONE TO WATCH: Matthew Doorey. A young strong back rower in the Bulldogs development team. Will not start the year in first year – but may end it there.

WHAT THE BOOKS SAY: To win against $ 41, to make finals $ 4.05 (via Sportsbet)

WHAT MOLEY SAYS: The Dogs have undergone an impressive makeover and I can’t wait to see them play under Barrett in 2021. The club only won three games last season and I expect them to triple this season – but are not up to the final.

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