Hasler experiment fails to spark Dogs
Not even the unusual step of doing half-time drills could snap the Bulldogs out of their funk on Friday night, as a depleted side were pummelled by more than 20 points for the second time in three weeks.
His team had barely gotten out of the barrier when they trudged into the sheds down 18-6 to the Wests Tigers, so coach Des Hasler remarkably sent his troops onto the field for some warm-up exercises before the second half.
"Our third quarter starts have been a bit dusty," he explained after the match.
"But it didn't work thought did it? I just tried to get the energy up, the heart rate go up."
Bench prop Antonio Kaufusi dropped the ball from the re-start, and from there the hosts rarely threatened a Tigers side brimming with enthusiasm.
By the 53rd minute, the visitors had crossed twice and extended their lead from 12 points to a commanding 26-point advantage.
"We weren't too good tonight and we paid the price for it. I think the try late towards the end of the first half we started to come good, [got]a little bit of momentum," he said.
"But they got that early try straight after half-time and it sort of rocked us a bit and they went on with it from there. They kicked well and they busted us. I thought they got up in our face quite well. We couldn't get anything going."
The home side conceded the first three tries of the night, including an unlucky bounce off a Luke Brooks bomb that hit the upright and back into the halfback's arms. But Hasler said the Tigers made the most of their opportunities.
"I think they scored three tries in the first half from kicks. They make their own luck, didn't they?" he said.
Second-rower Frank Pritchard – who scored his side's only two tries – said they had done plenty of homework on the Tigers' damaging pair of James Tedesco and Luke Brooks, but failed to execute their game plan.
"They just blew us off the park. They got us up the middle. They were just a lot faster in everything – quick play-the-balls, getting a lot of metres. We just didn't match it with them," he said.
"We [had] done a lot [of homework], especially on them two, they're the main indicators, Tedesco and Brooks. I just don't think we did the job tonight. Full credit to the Wests Tigers, take nothing away from them. They just blew us off the park."