Sports

Barrett facing Dog of a record



Trent Barrett can be forgiven for losing his cool as he faces the grim prospect of becoming Canterbury’s least successful coach in premiership history.

A loss to NRL heavyweights the Sydney Roosters on Saturday would leave Barrett with a galling four-from-32 winning record since taking charge last year.

That would match foundation coach Ed Courtney’s sorry 12.5 per cent strike rate from 1935 when the Bulldogs won only two of their 16 games. That team lost one match 91-6 to St George, which is still the worst defeat in premiership history, as well as another game 87-7 to Easts – the second-heaviest loss of all time.

But while Courtney’s side of almost a century ago didn’t even have a home ground, Barrett’s last-placed Bulldogs are a financial powerhouse with the backing of the cashed-up Belmore leagues club and now the brains of Phil Gould on board as general manager of football.

Little wonder that Barrett has been prone to a few dressing room sprays during his side’s depressing run of six straight losses since opening the season with a promising victory over North Queensland.

Prop Tevita Pangai said no one can blame the mild-mannered mentor for blowing up given the way the Dogs have performed so far in 2022.

“With those six losses there’s nothing to be proud about,” Pangai said on Tuesday. “Little defensive lapses and mental lapses, we need to get them out.

“Obviously we’ve lost six games … it takes a toll on everyone.

“But we control what we can and if we listen to what ‘Baz’ says for 80 minutes we can get a result.”

Canterbury led Brisbane 14-6 with 25 minutes remaining last Friday night before leaking five late tries in a demoralising collapse.

The team spent several minutes in a huddle after Tuesday’s training session and Pangai says it’s vital the players stick together during the tough times.

“There’s no excuses,” he said.

“We just have to look at our individual performances and get better as a team.”

English Test forward Luke Thompson agrees there can be no excuses, despite Canterbury enduring a rough run with injury, and says the Roosters present the Bulldogs with a great opportunity to bounce back at Accor Stadium.

“We love coming up against the good teams in the comp to test yourselves to see we’re you’re at,” Thompson said.

“That’s the good thing about rugby league – there’s always next week – so we get to go out there and fix it up and get the win.” 



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