It’s been a pretty quiet off-season for the Bulldogs with a distinct lack of puff pieces that get written about every club at this time of year. Although fans aren’t missing out on too much by hearing their favourite player say “it’s been the toughest preseason ever” or “we’ve never been fitter as a squad” or “T-Rex has mostly just slept”, you can’t help but think that Des Hasler has played a hand in staying subterranean beneath the radar.
Journalist: “Hi, I was hoping to speak to Des Hasler quickly”
Canterbury Staffer: “Oh ok. I’ll just see if he’s available”
(Des in the background) “Tell them I’m on the toilet”
Canterbury Staffer: “He’s just a bit busy at the moment”
Journalist: “But I just heard him in the background”
(Des in the background) “Tell him you’re in the toilet with me!” *fart noises with mouth*
With Des holding back the juicy quotes, there hasn’t been too much to write about the Dogs. Brett Morris is out for the first month of the competition which is a bummer, but that may give a chance to fringe back Tyrone Phillips who was quite impressive at the Auckland Nines. The NRL’s off-season trade roundabout spun quickly and Tim Lafai was flung to Wollongong while Will Hopoate dizzyingly arrives at Belmore. It is yet to be seen if Hoppa Jr will ever re-find his pre-Mormon mission form but if he does Doggies fans will find extra glee in the tears of Eels fans. Curtis Rona bagged a bevy of tries last year and proved that he is a finisher of the highest quality. So good is Rona at finishing that when team mates are playing Mortal Kombat in their down time, they’ll pass the controller at the last minute to Curtis to complete the “Fatalities”.
With Trent “Snowman Eyes” Hodkinson gone to Newcastle, Moses Mbye is ready to make a good fist out being a permanent starting half and to steer the team around. He undoubtedly has skill but perhaps calls that he will be the future Maroons halfback or that he is the reincarnation of Steve Mortimer (and that the Steve Mortimer walking around now is a sentient robot) are perhaps a bit far-fetched. Hopefully Josh Reynolds went on an Iowaska spirit quest or the club doctor has prescribed something for him, and he’ll spend more time of the field than in the dressing sheds kicking a plastic chair (the plastic chair is the reincarnation of Ben Czilowski).
There may have been a question mark over how the Dogs forward pack will adapt to the reduction in interchanges this season, but the big boys will have been preparing for this for a number of months. Tolman, Graham and Jackson can all play big minutes already and those like Eastwood and Kasiano would have been watching their diet. No more Rashays and junk food for them, in fact credible reports suggest in attempt to become fitter, Sam Kasiano has been literally eating fitness equipment. Ab-Roller Pros, Rowing Machines, a squat rack; you name it, he has ate it.
So yeah, I guess there hasn’t been much to report in the lead up to 2016 for the Bulldogs.
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