Bulldogs defend suspended teammate
Bulldogs duo Josh Morris and Aiden Tolman have unreservedly defended their teammate Josh Reynolds in light of the five-eighth’s reckless performance against the Brisbane Broncos last Friday night.
With the frustration of his team's 41-10 loss ultimately influencing Reynolds' behaviour, the NSW representative was sent to the sin-bin in the final minutes of the game after several indiscretions.
With Reynolds kicking back-rower Sam Thaiday in the face in the process of being tackled, tripping Ben Barba and later whacking Alex Glenn high in different instances throughout the game, the St George junior has been cited for his actions on Thaiday and Barba and won't be available for selection until the Bulldogs' Round 26 clash against the Titans.
Despite this, Reynolds' teammates have spoken out, claiming that is just the way he plays and there is no need to change his approach to his football, despite the Bulldogs staring down the barrel of perhaps losing their fifth competition game in a row against the Parramatta Eels this Friday night.
"He has 100 per cent of our support. The boys love having him in the team and every game he plays he gives his all to the Bulldogs jersey and that's all you can ask for," Bulldogs centre Morris said.
"Football is a funny thing. It is so fast nowadays. You can rush out of the line and get put off balance just a tiny bit and something so simple can look so bad. It is unfortunate that he was caught in that position on the weekend but in terms of changing his game we don't want him to stop competing or stop being that aggressive player that he is."
It was obvious how much it hurt Reynolds when sent from the field, with live footage capturing the emotional five-eighth kicking a chair across the dressing room, and while the man nicknamed 'Grub' may have lived up to his nickname to a degree last Friday night, Tolman disagrees, describing him as a "champion bloke".
"'Grub' is just his nickname. I think everyone knows off the field... he would do anything for anybody and you see with the work he does in the community you can just see that he isn't like that at all," Tolman said.
"It is just on the field he is competitive and at times that can be taken the wrong way. For me, I love playing alongside him and you know that he's not going to leave anything in the tank when he comes off and that's why we love him at the Dogs.
"I'm sure he'll continue to play like that his entire career. It's disappointing what has happened but that's rugby league."
With Reynolds now facing his second suspension of the season after he was charged with a shoulder charge on Will Chambers in Game Three of the State of Origin series, the Bulldogs have selected young-gun Moses Mbye to fill the breach left by the 25-year-old.
The usual five-eighth Mbye has played five games this season though is yet to play in his preferred position in the top grade. Despite this, Mbye has produced two line break assists as well making two try saves, two try assists and seven tackle busts.