Bulldogs out to spoil parties
Canterbury are usually the side "having a party" but they're on a mission to spoil others' finals aspirations this season, starting with Parramatta at ANZ Stadium on Thursday.
A field goal to Eels pivot Mitchell Moses in golden point was all that split the two sides in a dour affair back in Round 17 and the Bulldogs are expected to be boosted by the return of Brett Morris after he missed last week's clash with a fever.
Twin brother Josh admits the reality of not playing September football this season was yet to sink in and Des Hasler's men were keen to make life difficult for other teams in the Telstra Premiership to round out the season.
The Bulldogs also face Manly and St George Illawarra over the next five weeks – two sides who are fighting off the Panthers and Cowboys for a top-eight spot.
"We've got to come to the realisation we're not a top eight side," Morris said.
"We've been our own worst enemies, it's hard to take. We've been there every year since Des has been here and now got an opportunity to cause a few upsets and change the look of the ladder."
While Bulldogs teammate Moses Mbye has spoken of the struggle the side could face to stay motivated in the final five weeks, the opportunity to send departing pair Josh Reynolds and Sam Kasiano out in the right fashion will continue to drive the side moving forward.
Individual aspirations for Rugby League World Cup berths and playing for 2018 positions are also added factors for the Belmore outfit with new signings Kieran Foran, Aaron Woods and Nu Brown set to join the club next season.
"I'm not going to give up. I still like winning games of football and nobody likes losing," Morris said.
"We'll continue to work hard and that's been our sole focus."
NSW back-rower Josh Jackson expressed his disappointment in their 2017 coming to an abrupt end, but insisted only the players were to blame.
"It's really disappointing. It is for the fans and for the club as well and everyone who's played before us but we can't do anything about it now," Jackson said.
"We take full responsibility for the football that we've played this year."
Jackson maintained any criticism towards Hasler remained unwarranted.
"He's a guy who leaves nothing to chance and the way he looks after us as players – he gives motivation to want to go out and play for him," Jackson said.
"It's just our inconsistencies. Our preparation has been top class and the way we go about our business.
"I can't put it down to one or two things – it's just inconsistency."
Meanwhile, Bulldogs prop Sam Kasiano (sternum) and back-rower Adam Elliott (cork) are also expected to be fit for the Eels clash despite suffering injuries in last week's eight-point loss to the Panthers.