Early losses still sting for Bulldogs: Reynolds

Bulldogs five-eighth Josh Reynolds says despite his side's gritty 9-8 win over the Roosters, his side is still hurting from previous close losses to the Panthers and Broncos. 

On the back of a Reynolds field goal, the first of his career, the Bulldogs held out the premiers for their third win of the season, but Reynolds said his said was still stinging from their heartbreaking 18-16 loss to Penrith in Round 3, as well as a first up away loss to the Broncos.

"We're probably still a bit disappointed – tonight's a massive game for us – we really think we should've [had a] 100 per cent [record], due to losing that game on the buzzer at Penrith and we could've had Brisbane," Reynolds said after the match.

"But we're working on plenty of things and the boys have got a really positive attitude now and we can take a lot out of these grinding games, they're better than winning 40-odd nil."

Coach Des Hasler backed up his five-eighth at the post match press conference, saying his side would take plenty of confidence out of achieving the desired result in another frantic finish.

"We probably let ourselves down a little bit couple of weeks prior, when we had the game in the bag at Penrith but it was really important for us to pick up those points," said Hasler.

"It was a pretty tough game, those games always are. I think the best thing for us was to back up last week's effort with another win tonight. The Roosters are probably a bit off at this early stage of the season but grabbing the points is what matters.
 
"They are a very tough side the Roosters so we'll take a bit of confidence out of it."

The win gives the Dogs their first consecutive victories since rounds 20 and 21 of last year, and was built on the back of another physical defensive effort, which takes their points conceded to a league best average of just 12 points per game. The result will also entrench the Bulldogs in the top eight at the end of Round 5, while the Roosters' premiership defence is off to a rocky 2-3 start.

Captain Michael Ennis, who made 40 tackles and had a running battle with opposite Jake Friend in his 200th career game, said he didn't rate the win above last week's 40-12 thumping of Melbourne, but said the it meant his side had made a satisfactory start to the season.

"Last week was pleasing too, it's never easy beating Melbourne, especially as it was a tough roadtrip for both sides so that was tough, but it was pleasing to back it up," Ennis said.
"There were some periods where we can improve too, and it's a tough place to come and win. 

"They're a very good football side so it's nice to accumulate those sort of points at this time of the year."

Hasler was unable to confirm the extent of the injury suffered by tryscorer Chase Stanley late in the game, when the winger appeared to dislocate his shoulder while defending on his own line.