Bulldogs coach Trent Barrett conceded that he’s beginning to “sound like a broken record” as he pinned Friday’s 16-6 loss to the Knights on errors.
The Bulldogs enjoyed their most exciting win in years just a fortnight ago against the Roosters, but have quickly come crashing back down to earth with back-to-back lacklustre performances.
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They coughed up 13 errors and finished with a concerning 66 per cent completion rate against the Knights. They also missed 24 tackles as opposed to Newcastle’s nine.
But remarkably the Dogs were in the game until the final five minutes when Adam Clune scored one of the easiest tries you’ll ever see.
A dejected Barrett told reporters that the performance was “not good enough” and believes it “summed up” the team’s season.
“I think it probably summed us up all year the unforced errors and set ends at crucial times. They’re courageous and they try hard but that’s not enough to win you games,” he said.
“Until we learn to cut out those individual errors that we’re making, build pressure and come up with the right kick at the right time…
“I sound like a broken record with the press conferences because it’s the same every week. It’s not good enough.”
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Questions are beginning to be asked of some of the Dogs’ big-name recruits. Matt Burton’s kicking game caused head aches for the Knights and Josh Addo-Carr tried hard, but Matt Dufty and Tevita Pangai Junior left a lot to be desired.
Dufty’s electric running game was missing, while Pangai Junior only played 46 minutes with Barrett revealing the reason behind that was because he thought the star forward looked “a little tired at times.”
The duo were also the main culprits in the Clune try.
Asked if the new recruits need to step up Barrett said “I think everyone does.”
“I’m not going to single out any individual, I thought across the board we’re just making too many errors and it’s making it too hard on ourselves,” he added.
“I think everyone needs to have a look at themselves.”
With Friday’s loss, the Bulldogs became the first team since South Queensland in 1996 to fail to score 100 points in the first 10 games.
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Bulldogs captain Josh Jackson has been with club for the good times and the bad ones too.
He believes the team isn’t reaching its potential and put it down to lack of concentration.
“I think we’re a lot better team than how we perform every week,” he said.
“It’s not game plan, it’s not preparation, it comes down to the night and maybe concentration… Individuals just making sure they hang onto the footy.”