Whilst their successive wins are certainly nothing to get too carried away about, the Canterbury Bulldogs may slowly be finding their feet in season 2013, as they romped to a comfortable victory over a depleted Wests Tigers side, winning 40-4.
With the previously suspended James Graham returning and the previously injured Sam Kasiano also returning, the Dogs appeared to be playing some of the footy that saw them make the 2012 grand final, and it showed, as they were in cruise control for the whole game.
In the seven tries to 1 hammering, it was the presence of the returning props that boosted the Bulldogs go forward and attack up the middle, laying the platform for the back-line players to make their move.
The 36-point win eclipsed the Bulldogs previous record margin between the Tigers – with the score on that night being 47-12.
For the Tigers, it was just not their night, despite Benji Marshall being deemed fit to play, he alone could not provide the spark needed to win.
A scare was sent through Tigers camp also, when in the warm-up, Robbie Farah appeared to injure his hamstring, though he eventually went on to play and was the Tigers best player.
The one part of the Bulldogs game that Hasler praised more so, was the return of his two front-line props, especially in their return games.
“I thought both him (Kasiano) and Graham were very solid for us. It certainly gives us a good rotation now,” he said.
“James seemed to pick up where he left off. Both are great impact players and I think the rest of the players feed off it.”
Not one to beat around the bush, Tigers captain Robbie Farah admitted disappointment and frustration in the way his side played.
“It was a tough night. It was always going to be tough but we made things worse for ourselves out there with our ball control and discipline,” he said.
“When you’re missing players you’ve got to come to play tough and get in the trenches and we didn’t do that tonight.”
3. Tim Lafai
2. Josh Reynolds
1. James Graham