Passionate Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs coach Des Hasler appeared quite calm despite his team losing 32-12 in a controversial and fiery game against the Sydney Roosters on Friday night.
With the Dogs missing New South Wales Origin halves Josh Reynolds and Trent Hodkinson, barnstorming back-rower Tony Williams and impact centre Josh Morris, Hasler didn't seem stirred up by the loss – their first in two months.
"It was always going to be a bit difficult tonight. Usually is against sides in this Origin period," Hasler said after the game.
"I thought we fought pretty well at 14-12 about a third of the way through the second half, we right up into by our necks but probably throughout the game we had a few fundamental errors and the penalties really hurt us.
"I thought the bloke with the whistle was a bit dodgy on a couple of his calls. He was actually a bit dodgy last week with some of his calls against the Warriors so that's maybe something Tony Archer can look at and we probably had some tough calls go against us."
The game could've gone down a different path though if it wasn't for upstart halfback Moses Mbye being disallowed what looked to be a try in the fourth minute of the game, in what proved to be a difficult night for the video referee after a few technical bungles.
"I thought Moses Mbye was probably a bit hard done by with that first try but the one that really got us was the ball, it was a good ball by Sonny Bill Williams, but I thought it was a metre forward and they scored off it but we've had a few calls go our way over the last month so you take the good with the bad," Hasler said.
With the game in the balance with 20 minutes remaining, a brain snap by young centre Tim Lafai saw the 22-year-old sent to the sin-bin after preventing a Roosters quick-tap following a 40/20 in what would prove to a decisive moment in the game.
"It's always difficult in the latter part of the game but it was a fairly tough game and fairly quick and obviously we were disappointed with some of the tries we let get by us, but full credit to the Roosters," Hasler said.
With the Roosters crossing for three late tries the scoreline failed to reflect the game itself and with a quartet of representative players to return, their showdown with the Sea Eagles in two weeks is proving to be a scintillating prospect.