If Canterbury's 38-0 loss to the Penrith Panthers on home soil wasn't enough for coach Des Hasler to explain after Sunday afternoon's loss, the club were also forced to respond to speculation Australian forward David Klemmer wanted a release from his current deal.
The Bulldogs' seven tries to nil loss to the Panthers at home was their worst of the season, eclipsing their lacklustre 0-36 performance against the Sea Eagles back in Round 4.
Speculation was rife on Saturday that a pay dispute over his current contract could spell the end of Klemmer's career at Belmore, however while the 23-year-old admitted there were some teething issues that were being handled, reports he requested a release were wide of the mark.
"There's been no asking [of a release]," Klemmer said after the game.
"There's a couple of things me and the club are working through, we're just trying to put those in place and fix all those and get everything on track.
"It's a bit frustrating but we’re working together and everything's on the right track.
"I love the club and I don't want to leave here."
Hasler preferred to focus on the lacklustre performance from his side than delve into the contract drama surrounding Klemmer, who backed up from Origin with a 56-minute effort.
"There's no truth pertaining to that story," Hasler said.
After pushing the Sharks last week despite a weight of possession behind them, there was no such resilience in defence against the Panthers who recorded their biggest ever win over Hasler's men in club history.
It was a poor showing from Canterbury who slumped to their fourth consecutive loss for the first time in the regular season since 2014.
"The fundamentals are pretty simple in the game and for two weeks in a row and throughout the season we're not managing and executing our possession well," Hasler said.
"We didn't get through our first set and our discipline is also [leaving] a lot to be desired at the moment.
"There were some really poor lapses with one-on-one defensive tackles which is unlike us."
Starved of the ball and only completing at 66 percent, not even the potential inclusion of Josh Reynolds could have helped the side's cause, who will face St George Illawarra next Monday.
While the Bulldogs line-up was missing skipper James Graham and NSW representative Brett Morris, there was little sympathy post-game from Hasler after a subpar performance in defence against a red-hot Panthers outfit.
"I thought we were down on energy from the start but we can't use excuses with players backing up from Origin," he said.
"It wasn't acceptable or at first grade standard.
"To lose the way we did and not get into the game… we're disappointed."
Hasler insisted Reynolds was a chance to return against the Dragons.
"He'll be reviewed in the week so hopefully," he said.
"His energy is something we're really missing at the moment."