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Canterbury coach Trent Barrett believes it would be "pretty sad" to see fiery prop Jack Hetherington miss further game time after being placed on report in his return from a five-week ban on Saturday.

Hetherington was penalised in the second minute for a high shot on James Fisher-Harris before being cited again for another effort on Viliame Kikau a minute later that saw him placed on report in the 30-4 Bulldogs loss to the Panthers.

A passionate Barrett watched on from the sidelines as Hetherington argued his case to referee Matt Noyen and narrowly avoided being sent to the sin bin.

Barrett suggested the match officials had it in for the Bulldogs enforcer.

"I didn't think there was anything in that, seriously, he might cop a fine but I hope that's it," Barrett said post-match.

"If you go through the whole game there's probably about six or seven other ones that probably didn't get pulled up.

"But because his name is Jack Hetherington... you can't tell me the referees don't have the name in the back of their mind when he goes in for a tackle, and the crowd gets behind it as well.

Match Highlights: Panthers v Bulldogs

"I really hope he doesn't, it would be a bloody shame if he did because they weren't bad at all.

"I've said it before … Jack Hetherington's not a dirty player. There was no force in any of those tackles at the start of the game."

The incidents could have derailed the Bulldogs efforts in the first half but the visitors did well to only concede two tries – one of which came with less than a minute left on the clock before the break.

However, Canterbury's resolve in defence meant little with their struggles in attack coming back to bite them against the competition front-runners.

The Bulldogs had their chances but couldn't get through the Panthers' top-shelf defence until the 79th minute.

"I thought the first half was really good, we come here with a plan and they stuck with it," Barrett said.

"The try before half-time hurt, 4-0 would've been handy," he said.

"The second half we just turned the ball over at crucial times. I didn't think they pulled us apart with any shape, just errors, the strip and Dallin's try before half-time.

"And a couple [of tries] with kicks. But that's what they do to you. I'm really happy and proud of our effort but there are a few learnings there if we're going to beat those better teams."

After recording just one win under Barrett in their first 12 games of the season, the Bulldogs coach said the side would benefit from an extra week's training with the bye scheduled.

"We'll take the rest but we've got a little bit of work to do as well," Barrett said.

Meaney holds a ball up for Schoupp to get his first NRL try

"We can't be happy with being on the wrong end of the scoreline but there were some positives in it.

"We need to use these two weeks to get better and wait for the Dragons in a fortnight."

Meanwhile, Bulldogs hooker Bradley Deitz required scans after suffering a hamstring injury in the loss. Second rower Matt Doorey went off for an HIA but was cleared to return.