Hasler lashes out at Dogs 'disrespect'
Irate Bulldogs coach Des Hasler said his side showed a "total disrespect" for the ball in their 22-16 defeat to Penrith at ANZ Stadium on Friday night.
Even though the Belmore side were denied four tries in the first half by the video referees – including a controversial overrule by the video referees on a Tim Lafai grounding – Hasler refused to blame them for the loss.
"It was one of those nights where we couldn't get one, couldn't get two, couldn't get three, so we probably weren't going to get the fourth one. It was just one of those nights with the rub of the green," he said.
"The [James] Segeyaro first try was pretty contentious as well, but when the referee calls a try, the video referee's got to find a reason not to award it. It just didn't happen. But, regardless of those, we still had the game within our grasp."
Hasler instead took aim at his team who, despite spending almost 20 more minutes in the opposition half than their counterparts, completed just 25 of 40 sets.
"For the uneducated out there, without any ball you don't build any pressure, you don't build any field possession," he said.
"All you do is tackle, all you do is come off your line. Sure (the refs)... they were poor. But they weren't the reason why we didn't win the game."
While Hasler admitted the team's effort was there, he expressed dismay at their alarming issues with ball control.
"Pretty disappointed with the way we played, got to be honest. [I'm] disappointed with the total disrespect with the ball," he said.
"Not going to blame the four disallowed tries. Fifteen unforced errors, four disallowed tries – they should've won the contest.
"[It] probably turned out to be 44 per cent possession in the second half there. First 23 minutes we had four completed sets. It's not good enough.
"So we need to get our focus with the ball. We need to get it pretty quickly. Not much more can be said about it. The number will tell the rest.
"Yeah, the effort's there, 22-16. But at this stage of the competition, it's disappointing considering we were really in the game last week as well."
The series of calls against them in the first half infuriated a number of Bulldogs, including skipper Michael Ennis, who raucously applauded referee Matt Cecchin's decision to call the Lafai try before he was overruled.
"We're playing a highly competitive sport at a very important part of the season so blokes care, that's all it is," he said.
"Blokes care about the result and at times, when they're competing hard and they feel like things are going against them, they get frustrated. That's natural. Again, sometimes you get them sometimes you don't and we just didn't get them."
Winger Chase Stanley is believed to have re-aggravated a shoulder injury after attempting to plant the ball down in the 22nd minute, and could be out for the season.
Canterbury-Bankstown's third straight loss could see them drop as low as sixth spot by the end of the round.