CANTERBURY players have defended their team’s attitude and insist it won’t be an issue after coach Dean Pay put it at the centre of their round-one flogging.
Pay labelled the Bulldogs’ physicality issues in the 40-6 capitulation to the Warriors as “an attitude thing”, having missed 32 tackles and conceded the most metres of any team last week.
The Bulldogs addressed the problems in a team meeting before they flew back home to Sydney on Sunday, desperate to leave the issue in New Zealand ahead of this weekend’s game against Parramatta.
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Already pre-season favourites for the wooden spoon, second-rower Adam Elliott felt the focus on the Bulldogs’ attitude wasn’t fair.
“It’s been taken out of context a little bit,” Elliott said.
“We’ve spoken about (attitude) a bit, ever since day one at pre-season everyone’s attitude has been great.
“The attitude he was talking about was specific to certain moments in the game rather than a whole group thing or a mentality the team has.”
Sunday’s clash with Parramatta is a round-two fixture but nevertheless shapes as a crucial one for the Bulldogs.
They desperately want a strong season start to continue their late-2018 momentum, while a difficult run follows their opening three fixtures.
Elliott’s words were echoed by halfback Kieran Foran, who got through his first full game back from numerous 2018 injuries unscathed.
“I won’t let one result determine our season and the fate of it,” Foran said.
Foran also said he had no concerns over his team’s attack, who had high completions but scored just one try against the Warriors.
The Bulldogs managed to score 22 points in a half against Canberra in a trial match with Kieran Foran and Lachlan Lewis at the helm.
“We want it to click straight away,” Foran said.
“We didn’t get an opportunity to showcase that on Saturday, but hopefully with a bit more possession this week and bit more footy we can hopefully play our shapes.”
© AAP 2019