By Stephen Gallagher
MATCH OF THE ROUND: ROUND 08 – Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs V Wests Tigers – Friday, ANZ Stadium. 19.35 local time, 21.35 NZ time.
LAST WEEK: Canterbury Bankstown upset the Cronulla Sutherland Sharks 24-8.
Wests were ravaged by injuries as they lost to the Brisbane Broncos 20-10
THIS WEEK: The Bulldogs have been far from the Grand Final Runner Up form of last season. So far from that form, that they look like a different and dysfunctional team. What’s going on? Whatever it is, it needs to be totally reversed. For starters run forward without dropping the ball. Keep the ball in hand.
The Tigers are much the same, though written off pre-season have been a little more competitive than most thought. With multiple injuries disrupting their season they need to get back on track by bringing back confidence. Playing with their heads up would be a great start.
WHAT TO EXPECT: Canterbury are a flair filled side when they want to be…. They just need to believe it. I think that playing the Tigers will bring this out in them. The second phase ball, the dummy runners. Go back to what made them so attractive in 2012.
The Tigers razzle-dazzle please. These two teams are pretty similar, so hopefully they play to their maximum potential. Low on confidence is never good for any side. I expect the Tigers to pick up their game.
THE BATTLE OF: Lucky thirteen. Greg Eastwood has been a pretty good player for the under performing Bulldogs this year. His go forward and mongrel is a key component for them.
Adam Blair has missed plenty of tackles this year, but when desperate times call for desperate measures – I am sure he will aim up. He has so much potential to stand up and deliver, and if he does – watch out.
KEEP YOUR EYE ON: Trent Hodkinson – Only his third game of the year this week, but since his inclusion the Bankstown lads have been a lot better directionally.
Curtis Sironen – Getting a big chance through unfortunate injuries to cement his spot for the remainder of the season. Has a great last name that he could potentially grow in to and live up to.
This will be a pretty highly entertaining match. This game is going the Bulldogs way only because the Tigers are so injury depleted I can’t see them getting up. Bulldogs 30-10.
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