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Dogs' dire game management laid bare in Canberra capitulation

Canterbury's playmaking stocks remain the sorest point of the Bulldogs rebuild after interim coach Steve Georgallis identified poor game management for letting slip an eight-point lead against a 12-man Raiders side.

The Bulldogs gave finals-bound Canberra a decent shake for 40 minutes on Sunday night, jumping to a surprise 20-12 lead before conceding 22 unanswered points in the second half.

The loss leaves them in last place with only four games left to make up a two-point deficit on 15th-placed Brisbane, or they will be greeting incoming coach Trent Barrett with the wooden spoon.

Two tries conceded to the Raiders while Tom Starling was sin-binned early in the second half started the slide to defeat, with Georgallis lamenting a lack of control from his halves at the critical juncture.

"We got the penalty against 12 men, and instead of building for that 10-minute period to take advantage of it, we hit a lead player on the last tackle and hand over the ball," Georgallis said of the Canterbury's second-half capitulation.

"I think they went down the other end of the field ... they scored a try and we didn't see the ball again. We helped them. It's just game management from our halves.

"It's our game management, the last six weeks we're scoring four or five tries a week. Our attack's not the issue at the moment.

Match Highlights: Raiders v Bulldogs

"It's just managing games and building our control of a game. I think we just gave [Canberra] too much cheap ball in the second half."

Kiwi veteran Kieran Foran has had his one-year extension offer withdrawn and will be leaving Belmore, while Blake Green was cruelly struck down with an ACL rupture just after being signed as his replacement at the scrumbase.

A typical 6-9 month recovery could still mean Green plays a significant role at the club in 2021, but whether the soon-to-be 34-year-old is able to reproduce his best football after such a significant injury is a big ask.

Back-up half Jack Cogger remains without a deal for next season while Lachlan Lewis had his moments against the Raiders – including a picturesque long ball for their opening try – but was also found wanting in defence.

Canterbury face the Titans on Saturday with English prop Luke Thompson expected to return after concern around homesickness led to him being rested for the Raiders trip.

The Bulldogs still only have two wins to their name for 2020, with games against the Gold Coast, Manly, South Sydney and Penrith rounding out their season.

Should they go without another victory this year it will rank among the worst campaigns in the club's history alongside 1935 (two wins from 16 games) and 1964 (one win from 18).

Bulldogs put entry in for try of the season

"It's a hard place to learn when you're at the bottom of the table," Georgallis said.

"Being a young team with a lot of young players trying to control a team with that game management ...

"I don't think you ever get used to losing, but they're trying to find a way to win and we haven't found it."

Acknowledgement of Country

National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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