Just two rounds into the NRL season and coach Trent Barrett is expected to shake up his new halves combination.
The Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs had all the new toys heading into the 2022 season, with the addition of a score trying flyer in Josh Addo-Carr, a destroyer on the edge in Tevita Pangai Junior, and a dynamic ballplayer in Matt Burton. The one thing the Bulldogs didn't get though was a halfback.
Barrett's choice to run with the admittedly dynamic but inexperienced, at least as a halfback, Jake Averillo sparked concerns about how he would mesh with a similar ball-dominant, run first half in Burton.
While the first two weeks of the Averillo-experiment haven't been terrible, with the Bulldogs going 1-1, one thing has become certain - all the pressure is falling on Burton's shoulders.
In the Dogs' Round 2 loss against the Brisbane Broncos, Averillo was unable to insert himself into the game, walking away with 96 total running metres, zero try assists, zero linebreaks and zero tackle-breaks.
According to The Australian's Brent Read, this has led to a shocking decision to axe Averillo for current Bulldogs NSW Cup halfback Brandon Wakeham.
Wakeham, along with his halves partner, much-maligned Kyle Flanagan, has been dominant for the Mounties in the first two rounds of the NSW Cup.
Posting a try, two try assists, two line breaks and a tackle-break in the sides Round 2 48-12 win against the Raiders, Wakeham had done enough to prove his worth to Barrett.
Wakeham, who's only made 21 appearances for the Bulldogs, his last being Round 25 of 2021, isn't getting selected because of his experience over Averillo, who's dawned the first-grade jersey 36 times, rather Barrett is searching for the Robin to Burton's Batman.
Barret continues to shake up the Bulldogs roster with the announced dropping of winger Jayden Okunbor.
Unable to deliver the strike that Canterbury are looking for on their right edge, Okunbor will be replaced by 20-year-old Aaron Schoupp for the club's clash against Manly this Sunday night.