Dan Walsh, Staff Writer
Bulldogs coach Des Hasler is confident man-mountain Sam Kasiano will not face any sanction for his late hit on Manly halfback Daly Cherry-Evans despite being placed on report in his side's 32-10 loss at Brookvale Oval.
Kasiano will come under scrutiny from the NRL's match review committee for the 44th-minute incident that saw the Bulldogs prop tackle the legs of Cherry-Evans as he kicked the ball downfield.
The Queensland No.7 left the field and did not return having aggravated a knee injury sustained in Origin I, though the Maroons halfback was confident he would be fit for Game Two at ANZ Stadium on June 18.
Hasler said after the match he did not think there was much in the tackle.
"I thought it was okay,’’ said Hasler. “There was nothing malicious or dangerous about it.
“He (Kasiano) started around his waist, both arms went around, and he caught him in line with the momentum of the kick, so it shouldn't be a worry for him.”
With the Bulldogs dominating the opening exchanges to hold a 6-0 lead with the half-hour mark approaching, Hasler was left lamenting the three tries in eight minutes Manly scored late in the first half to take the game away from the competition leaders.
"The opening 20 minutes was a tough grind," said Hasler. "It was always going to be like that the way these two sides go about the way they play."
"It was probably that second stanza there in the first half where we lost our way a little bit with possession and didn't get too much ball there, but they made the most of their opportunities tonight and we didn't.
"I thought we were a little tardy and off in our execution."
The loss is the Bulldogs' second heavy defeat in a row, following on from their 32-12 capitulation at the hands of the Roosters two weeks ago before they had the bye last weekend, and sees the Sea Eagles draw level with the Bulldogs at the top of the table on 18 points.