Hopoate hospitalised after head clash
Canterbury's 28-24 loss to the Sydney Roosters on Thursday night was made worse, with the club confirming fullback Will Hopoate had been taken to hospital following a sickening head clash with Roosters forward Zane Tetevano.
The 66th-minute incident forced the 24-year-old from the field, with Hopoate later being taken away to an ambulance on a stretcher.
The club confirmed via Twitter that Hopoate had "gone to hospital with a severe concussion and a possible fracture" with Bulldogs coach Des Hasler reiterating the message in his post-match media address.
"He's gone to hospital for a check-up on a severe concussion and there might be a fracture around his eye so we'll get that checked out," Hasler said after the game.
Tetevano also missed the latter stages of the game as he was taken off the field for a head injury assessment from the same incident.
The news wasn't much better for winger Kerrod Holland whose night ended inside 10 minutes after injuring his shoulder earlier in the contest.
Back-rower Greg Eastwood came off in the second half with a lower-leg injury, leaving the Bulldogs with just one fit player on the bench and edge forward Josh Jackson having to play on the left wing.
Given their mounting casualty ward, it was a remarkable effort to get within four points of the Roosters, but Hasler conceded his side needed a little bit extra if they wanted to start winning games.
"He hurt his shoulder so I think he'll be out for a little while, which is a shame because he probably would have kicked a couple of those goals," he said of the Holland injury.
"All those [fighting] trademarks are well and truly embedded into the club and into this team. We just need to start getting some results."
The blue and whites were actually in control of the contest before a Jake Friend 40/20 kick changed the complexion of the game.
The Roosters ran in a try two sets after the relieving kick and scored the next three to open up a commanding lead before the Bulldogs rallied late to make a game of it.
"I thought early on we were pretty good. We got a couple of early tries and really stopped their momentum," Bulldogs prop Aiden Tolman said.
"Jake Friend kicked it out of dummy-half and it came against the run of play. It does hurt you because they obviously got a quick rack off the back of it and I think they scored that set or the set after. It does hurt, but we were still in control of the game up until then, but that 20 minutes before half-time hurt us.
"We were probably good enough to win the game tonight, but some crucial errors at critical times didn't help us. The effort's there but sometimes it doesn't get you across the line."