Friday 23 March 2018 / 07:56 PM


Sometimes mad scientists produce magic. Other times they just make a mess. Des Hasler has just created a mess at Canterbury.

And there is no way out for the Bulldogs in the foreseeable future.

Phil Gould penned an interesting piece on the Bulldogs after their embarrassing display against Parramatta, where they managed just two first-half points and failed to come over the top despite 70 percent possession and all the field position.

Gould argued that Canterbury lacked confidence, were too one-dimensional in attack and had no attacking kicking game.

He is, of course, right but he was far too soft in absolving both coach and players of responsibility, as if the current situation at Canterbury was just shone upon the club like a spotlight at a Broadway play.

The Bulldogs’ attack does lack confidence. It is one-dimensional. There is no kicking game. Goalkicking is a disaster. There is no speed. No team is less threatening around the ruck. There are too many dead plays. There is no creativity.

And this goes back to those charged with building the team, and in Bulldogs-land that begins and ends with Des Hasler.

He has constructed this team. He has made both recruitment and retention decisions. He decided Moses Mbye was his future at halfback. He decided to let Michael Ennis go for Michael Lichaa with Ennis winning a title at the Sharks and Lichaa on the verge of being dumped. He tied up cap space with Tony Williams. He allowed Will Hopoate to miss Sundays. He has continually played slow outside backs with little upside in place of blooding players. He has neglected the pathways to first grade. He has coached the props to play as halfbacks and the halves to play as props. He set up the structure that sees Aiden Tolman touch the ball at least nine times a set when inside the opposition 20.

And now he thinks that Kieran Foran and Aaron Woods can turn it all around.

There is only one solution to the Canterbury problem and that is moving on from Des Hasler. The pain will be here a long time but the quicker the club starts the healing, the quicker it can get into a position to genuinely contend again.

It is the only way. Continuing down this path just delays the inevitable knockdown and rebuild that is coming.

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About the author

Nick Tedeschi

You will not find a more passionate rugby league man than Nick, whose Making The Nut column has garnered a huge cult following over the last decade. The Sydney-based raconteur co-authored The Book of NRL Lists with CBS stablemate WILL EVANS in 2014 and has penned several other books; he joined the CBS team with his weekly Six Up The Middle feature in 2016.

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