Hasler calls for improvement despite commanding win by the Dogs

Mitch Brown

He is a harsh marker when it comes to the performance of his side and today was no different, as Canterbury Bulldogs coach Des Hasler admits improvement in his side is a must if they are to challenge the top sides.

Starting the game in a relatively poor fashion and thus trailing at one point, they were forced to dig deep and win, with the moment that changed the game coming from an unlikely source in Tony Williams, who enjoyed one of his best games in Bulldogs colours.

It was only after being given a serve by Hasler at half-time that saw the Dogs players respond, as they ran away with the game and were just too strong for the Panthers.

“Both sides were probably sub-standard with the completion rate,” Hasler said.

“They are a good side Penrith but we contributed to our downfall … it’s just not good enough and we need to improve.

“But luckily we tackled well and they were as guilty as were by completing just two sets more than we did.”

“We improved in the second half and had some momentum and scored four tries.”

Hasler is harsh on his players, too, and admits that Williams has been playing satisfactorily over the last month.

“I think he has been playing OK the last month,” Hasler said.

“Considering the way we played in the first half, any points could be seen as a turning point.

“When you are 14-6 down the next score usually decides the game so getting the try and Trent kicking the goal was good.

“They had enough possession, they should have had more than the 14 they had before halftime.”

For Williams, it is all about confidence and whilst he is not quite where he wants to be, he did say that he is slowly getting it back piece by piece.

“I guess I wasn’t involved much before that so I had to do something,” Williams said.

“I was lucky enough to get the pass away … it’s been a bit of roller-coaster ride for me this year.

“It’s good that we have got a bit of confidence at the back end of the season and some momentum going into the finals.

“My confidence has been much better than earlier in the season and it’s up to me now.

“I need to make of those runs and get the boys along.”

Not one to beat around the bush, Penrith Panthers coach Ivan Cleary admits that his side was just outplayed by a better side in the second half.

“We just couldn’t build up enough pressure,” Cleary said.

“We had some good spells, we had chances but the try on halftime was significant and they went on with it in the second half.

“They were too good.”

3. Mitch Brown
2. Tony Williams
1. Tim Lafai

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