SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 02: Kerrod Holland of the Bulldogs and Josh Jackson of the Bulldogs celebrate winning the round 21 NRL match between the Canterbury Bulldogs and the Brisbane Broncos at ANZ Stadium on August 2, 2018 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Canterbury and their fans endured a lot of heartache and frustration last season on and off the field, and many experts have suggested it will continue on the field this coming season.

Whilst you may be thinking the same thing there are many reasons to suggest it could be a really good year for the Blue and Whites.

The departure of David Klemmer won’t be easy although it has been sweetened somewhat with the addition of Dylan Napa. He will bring a wealth of experience and confidence that will benefit the Bulldogs, as long as he stays disciplined and focused after what’s come out off the field, I can see this as a win for the Bulldogs.

Whilst the Morris twins have been great for the club and will be hard to replace, the timing couldn’t be better to blood some young guns. This will no doubt be a massive challenge for Dean Pay, although with Will Hopoate there to help nurture the up and coming backs this will help soften the blow and having players already capped with NRL experience this will hold the backs in good stead.

Corey Harawira-Naera’s arrival at Belmore will be a healthy addition to an already talented list of backrowers, Sauaso Sue, Christian Crighton, Nick Meaney and Jack Cogger also join the Canterbury squad list for 2019. This gives Dean Pay a good mix of youth and experience.

Much has been said about Kieran Foran and whether he can stay fit and recapture career-best form. I personally think he will, so far the news has been positive about his rehab and training, and with a list that includes young halves such as Lachlan Lewis, Jeremy Marshall-King, Jack Cogger and Fa’amanu Brown, Foran will have to fire if he wants to play footy in 2019.

Canterbury will have some much-needed impact off the bench this will no doubt trouble sides with forwards and back rowers that are capable of throwing the ball around combined with late footwork. This will expose tired and weak defences.

On paper the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs have a side capable of making the finals, they tested top 8 sides late last year without key players, and in the modern era, an off season can change a lot. In 2013 the Roosters won the premiership after previously finishing 2012 in 13th position and last season Souths made the top 4 after finishing 2017 in 12th place.

Possible Round 1 Team

  1. Nick Meaney
  2. Christian Crighton
  3. Will Hopoate
  4. Kerrod Holland
  5. Reimis Smith
  6. Keiran Foran
  7. Lachlan Lewis
  8. Aiden Tolman
  9. Michael Lichaa
  10. Dylan Napa
  11. Josh Jackson
  12. Rhyse Martin
  13. Adam Elliott
    INTERCHANGE
  14. Jeremy Marshall-King
  15. Sauaso Sue
  16. Raymond Faitala-Mariner
  17. Corey Harawira-Naera

Expect Morgan Harper to replace Holland if he doesn’t perform, and much the same with Fa’amanu Brown and Lichaa. And Jack Cogger could also get a run around in place for Jeremy Marshall-King or to cover injuries.

I expect this Bulldogs side to play off the cuff style footy in 2019 and finish anywhere between 5th and 8th position and surprise a lot of pundits.

18 COMMENTS

  1. Anything is possible in rugby league oi souths fans always remember the doggies were the only club that supported souths when super greed raised its ugly head but eventually as i predicted they failed dismally and rightfully so.the dogs are souths best friend in rugby league fact!

  2. what a horrible back line though .. can you really rely on one noted player in hopoate , is foran really back to his best ? , and is lachlan ready for 25 first grade games ahead of him .. , i really can’t see them making the top 8 , as much as i like the dogs , that back line is just depleted .. i hope i’m wrong , i’ve seen all of these players in action holland seems decent if he can be consistent , same with reimis , hope they can stay consistent and prove me wrong , will be watching the doggies very closely this year

  3. The best 17 lineup isn’t as bad as a lot of people have been alluding to, but the real test for a top 8 team is not the round 1 lineup, it is the ability to cover the injuries that every team will face during the year, and I think in that department, the Dogs are a bit thin on depth.
    I really hope they go well, as I always enjoy going to their games with my mate, but when those injuries kick in, it will be a tough ask to keep up with the rest.
    I don’t see them anywhere in the bottom 4 though; they will more than likely be sitting around the 7-12 position come round 25.

  4. Klemmer over Napa any day. Nice 11,12 and 13 but very ordinary backline and 9. Bottom 4 for me unless Foran plays a full season injury free

  5. Nick Meaney
    Jayden okunbor
    Will Hopoate
    Morgan Harper
    Reimis Smith
    Keiran Foran
    Lachlan Lewis
    Aiden Tolman
    Michael Lichaa
    Dylan Napa
    Josh Jackson
    Rhyse Martin
    Raymond Faitala- mariner
    INTERCHANGE
    Jeremy Marshall-King
    Sauaso Sue
    Adam Elliot
    Corey Harawira-nera

    That should be the round one squad

  6. That team is garbage, Des must of really put them in a whole if they can’t afford atleast 1 or 2 decent players

  7. So you’re saying players like Jackson, Martin, Faitala-Mariner, Lewis, Smith, Napa and a few others are garbage? Like many other Roosters fans, you’re as braindead as they come.. Go and attend some of your home games for starters, looks as dead as a library

  8. To say that back like is up and coming is a bit of a reach considering Nick Meaney couldn’t crack the Knights team when Ponga wasn’t there and Hopoate is no where near the same player when he played SOO. Keiran Foran is trash. Well last his use by date and extremely over paid. They replaces there best player who left with someone not quite as good but plays a very similar game who is likely to be banned for the first few rounds follow of feild drama. Micheal Lichaa has tried and failed for 3 seasons at hooker. The one good area they do have is second row but they have 6 second rowers going into 2/3 spots. Jackson is captain and a must, Martin is a breakaway star who is on the rise, Elliot who can play middle is rubbish, Sue is your typical big edge forward with poor defence, RFM is a good youngster, CHN is a good player and finds the line but they didn’t need to sign him.
    So on the bench you have an undersized and inexperienced half and your excess three second rowers all with under 50 first grade games to their names.
    They are better off having a rebuild centred around Lachlan Lewis with Martin RFM and CHN the main edge forwards. Smith and Crichton are alright young wingers but need time. This would be the best year for a rebuild considering the exciting young talent off contract (R. Robson, T. Sailor, M. Dufty, B. Brailey, J. Feild, G. Fai, B. Lawrie, J. Ofahungue and G. Leleisiuao).

  9. Martin, marina, Lewis and smith are all unproven rookies and did nothing spectacular last year to say they are going to be breakout stars this year. Jackson as there last year and Napa is no better then Klemmer.

    You will be reminded of this garbage you dribbles when the bulldogs are sitting 15th 16th

  10. Napa, Foran and Jackson are your only decent players, so your team is garbage and probably has the worst roster in the comp

  11. Holland had a very good end to they year last season once he got his starting spot and might offer more than anybody expects. Reimis Smith, while far from great, tore apart the Dragons last year in an inspiring display. If he can do that more often, he might turn into a decent player. And you shouldn’t rule out Nick Meaney before he’s even had a chance to prove himself. And Fa’amanu Brown and Jeremy Marshall-King could provide some depth in the halves.

  12. Lol Martin and Smith played very well last season. Do you not remember hat tricks from both players against the Raiders and Dragons and playing well pretty much every game they were in? Faitala-mariner isn’t really a rookie any more and he was going well before he got hurt. Lewis played well and will only get that much better over time next to Foran. Garbage I dribble? Who was the one who dribbled it first and dribbles it here on a consistent basis you dope? Funny how you blow in here after the Roosters win the grand final.. fickle as all hell just like the rest of them now be gone you peasant.

  13. Uhh Meaney DID crack the side when Ponga wasn’t there. He played fullback when Ponga went down. Do your research before you talk dude. That won’t be the bench either, Pay will most probably use four forwards with 2 props and 2 back rowers..

  14. It’s good to know that you think Martin and smith having 2 decent games a year means they are playing well haha maybe they will have 4 decent games in 2019 and win the dally M this year?

    Don’t disappear when the bulldogs are sitting 15th ,16th this,because I’ll be here laughing

    There is nobody on that garbage lineup worth close to 1mil, until Foran can prove he can play more than half a season, he is garbage aswell

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