Quiet achiever Tolman closing in on 250 milestone

Aiden Tolman will be lucky to make it to his 250th NRL game if he keeps putting his body through the kind of physical demands he's asking of himself.

Then again he is a prop and the ability to never-say-die seems like a prerequisite for front-rowers.

Tolman definitely fits into that category. But if he wants to last another nine games – he currently sits on 241 games – he may need to up those recovery sessions.

He turned 30 last November but take a look at last weekend's stats against South Sydney and re-check his birth date.

Tolman played 70 minutes, made 17 hit-ups for 155 metres and topped his side in post-contact metres with 60 – 10 more than any other teammate - and tackles (47).

"He's just a machine. He just keeps going," coach Dean Pay said.

"You look at the other middles and think 'Do I need to give him a spell?' but he keeps turning up and doing his job."

The Bulldogs didn't get the win, going down 14-6, but the game Tolman produced should have been rewarded with competition points.

"I just want to win every week," he told NRL.com.

"That's just how I play the game. I want to fight for everything.

"There were a couple of moments there where I was just doing my job – getting myself between them and the ball.

"We didn't get the result but there's some signs there we're on the improve. It was a lot better than last week, that's for sure."

Bulldogs prop Aiden Tolman.
Bulldogs prop Aiden Tolman. ©Gregg Porteous/NRL Photos

It was far better than the 40-4 drubbing by the Dragons.

And Tolman's work was inspirational. After a dash down the right-side touchline Corey Allen kicked to centre field with his halfback Adam Reynolds chasing – but so too was Tolman.

He just got there first and batted the ball dead.

Minutes later Reynolds aimed for a clearing kick on his own 40-metre line. But Tolman sensed it is coming and raced in to smother it. The charge-down was effective and Tolman ran to retrieve the ball on the 10 metre line before any Rabboitohs got to him.

"I think most players are like that – they just go as hard as they can," he explained.

"Sometimes it works out for you, and sometimes it doesn't. I was fortunate to be in the right position at the right time.

"Look I work hard in every play, that's what I've built my game on, across my whole career.

"I never want to give up on the ball."

With the Bulldogs' defence seemingly strong, now it's time to get the attack to chime in.

"We turned the ball over on early tackles … giving away possession fatigues you, wears you out," Tolman said.

"We defended well on our try line but we paid the price in the end. We just had nothing left for attack in that second half.

"Our defence held us in that game but we need to be smarter with the ball."

The proof in all that comes on Friday, when the Bulldogs host the Cowboys at ANZ Stadium.