Bulldogs Rue Self-inflicted Mistakes
Disappointed Bulldogs mentor Des Hasler says his team have no excuses for their self-inflicted mistakes following their 24-10 loss to the Roosters on Friday night.
Speaking immediately after his team's 14-point loss, Hasler rattled through plenty of key statistics which justified his disappointment in his team, who have now lost four of their past five matches.
"They were a lot more clinical than us and even at 24-10 we didn't play well. We're not playing well," Hasler said.
"When you can compete only eight of 15 sets in the second half with all our one-on-one misses and high error count, against a team like the Roosters who are in good form, on 39 per cent possession [it won't work].
"All of those things were self-inflicted. You have probably all heard these things in media conferences before but we have to get that sorted if we want to do anything in this competition, it's as cut-and-dried as that."
Buoyed by the return from suspension of James Graham prior to facing the Tricolours, jubilation turned to despair just 27 minutes into the game when the inspirational prop and captain left the field with concussion and a consequential knee injury.
"Yeah, [Graham's injuries were costly] but you know we have had players injured and players suspended and it happens to other teams as well," Hasler said.
"[It's no excuse] it's like last week against the Cowboys we were up in the game 16-12 with about eight minutes to go and we let it slip away and when you're trying to stay in the arm-wrestle those sort of things aren't going to help.
"Somewhere, at some point they are going to catch you, and the Roosters did that."
With the match built around the 'Battle of the Halves', Hasler said the Bulldogs' performance didn't really give his playmakers Josh Reynolds and Trent Hodkinson a chance to shine.
"I think they had some good touches but it's not going to read that way over the weekend I'm sure," Hasler said.
"I thought Josh did some really good things and Trent tried really hard but it's difficult with those numbers boys, let's be realistic from a football point-of-view.
"We lost our way with possession, and I can't offer you excuses – we have to get that sorted. Thankfully the season is still young."
This article first appeared on NRL.com