Written by Oliver Kellner-Dunk
Sitting in last place on the ladder and struggling to find any positives with a team performance whatsoever has become a consistent theme with the Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs that has seen them labelled wooden spoon favourites for the past two weeks now.
An abysmal outing against the Newcastle Knights followed by a display of poor discipline against the Wests Tigers has kept the Bulldogs at the bottom of the pack and unfortunately, nothing changed in their most recent outing against the St George Illawarra Dragons.
On Sunday afternoon Anthony Griffin’s Dragons side earned their sixth win of the season and have put themselves within touching distance of the top eight as they defeated the Bulldogs 34-22 at Belmore Oval in front of a sell-out crowd.
Despite having the majority share of possession and completing at a higher rate than the Red V the Bulldogs still lost through a high error count, making 11 mistakes during the game.
This ensured that Mick Potter’s side will remain wooden spoon favourites and sees the Bulldogs officially steal the title of worst for and against in the competition from the Newcastle Knights who are now just one win away from escaping the bottom four.
As the 2022 State of Origin series kicks off Wednesday week the Bulldogs head to Penrith to take on ladder leaders the Panthers, then a game against top eight side the Parramatta Eels before what will likely be another bottom of the table clash with the Wests Tigers.
During this bye period, general manager Phil “Gus” Gould will be hoping the Bulldogs come leaps and bounds as they will maintain a full squad of players with coach Potter unlikely to give them any time off.
The second meeting with the Tigers, in particular, will be important especially if the Tigers do not win another game before then as it could decide whether or not the Bulldogs win the dreaded wooden spoon.
At this point falling further away from the rest of the teams in the NRL would prove too big a gap to fill for the Bulldogs.