Head Coach Des Hasler chats with Bulldogs.com.au and reflects on season 2015.
The Bulldogs season came to an end against the Sydney Roosters in week two of the finals series, but the impact of the Bulldogs' 18-17 loss to the Rabbitohs in round five on Good Friday was a significant turning point, with five players made unavailable in the aftermath.
Fullback Brett Morris suffered a severe hamstring injury and spent eight weeks on the sideline, Tim Lafai hurt his knee while Sam Kasiano, David Klemmer and James Graham copped varied suspensions.
It became worse for Graham who upon returning from a four-game suspension was concussed and picked up a knee injury in the sides loss to the Roosters in round 10.
He then returned against the Dragons in round 13, but luck wasn't on the skipper's side with the Englishmen picking up a hamstring injury that would see him sidleined for a month, before returning in round 18.
New recruit and starting number nine, Michael Lichaa broke his foot in round 23, while Tony Williams's season-ending pectoral injury mid-way through the year was a crucil blow for the club.
Half-back and departing goal-kicker Trent Hodkinson picked up a nasty wrist injury justt before the finals and it proved too much for the club in the end after having to deal with many huirdles throughout 2015 as well as Josh Reynolds's three suspensions and separate shoulder and knee complaints.
"We had to work our way through a lot of interuptions, whether that be through injury which was a large contributor, suspension and also having to manage Origin," Hasler said.
"I thought the side showed and displayed a lot of fighting qualities to finish equal fourth."
It took a clash with the minor premiers and a controversial try decision to end the Bulldogs' campaign in Week 2 of the finals.
"We were really poor with the ball. You don't even have to know anything about stats to do with the game, but to come up with 23 from 35 on one of the biggest nights of the year was just really disappointing for the side and for the fans," coach Des Hasler said following the 38-12 loss to the Roosters.