Hasler happy with fightback
Bulldogs coach Des Hasler has praised his team's ability to get back into the game against Parramatta on Thursday night but reserved some criticism for the match officials after the Eels received a crucial penalty in golden point.
Parramatta threatened to run away with a big win when up 12-2 at half-time against a Canterbury outfit that looked unsure of how to crack the Eels line but a re-energised Dogs pack piled on the pressure in the second 40, keeping the Eels pinned to their line under a mountain of pressure to take the contest to golden point at 12-all.
"We had opportunities; there were some parts we were really, really good," Hasler said after the 13-12 result.
"The commitment and fightback in the second half [was good]. There were probably a few areas there we weren't so good in."
Hasler felt the contest was "spoiled a bit" for both sides by a lack of policing the ruck, and disagreed with the crucial penalty call against Michael Lichaa in extra time for a strip on Tepai Moeroa.
"I thought the officials probably could have handled [the ruck] a bit better but I thought the penalty in the extra time was a pretty tough call. I think it was from the pocket referee and I think he got it wrong," Hasler said.
"We had other opportunities [to win] but it was a tough game… We made some dumb plays."
Prop Aiden Tolman lamented the team's inability to claw out a win despite putting in plenty of effort. There can be no question Tolman himself embodied that effort, putting in a massive 80 minutes in the front row that saw him rack up a whopping 53 tackles to go with 146 metres.
"We're in most games every week but for whatever reason we just can't get across the line and that was a perfect example," Tolman said.
"Disappointing to lose in golden point like that. I thought that second half we were on top, we dominated field position and got ourselves back into the game but at the end of the day we weren't good enough."
The team has now gone four straight games without a first-half try but Hasler was unconcerned by a seeming inability to get on the board early in contests.
"It wasn't through management [that we didn't score in the first half]," he said.
"I thought we had a couple real try scoring opportunities there. One they knocked down which was offside and the other one we threw [into touch] so I thought we created some opportunities there where we should have capitalised and scored points."