Bulldogs coach Dean Pay has described the mounting penalty counts against his side this year as "ridiculous" while declaring his pride in his players for their effort in Thursday's 28-6 loss to Brisbane.
The Bulldogs were unable to mount sustained pressure against the Broncos but Pay said there was "a big factor" in that.
"I was really proud of the boys the way they hung in there. Again we got done in the penalties 7-3. I think they had an extra  sets. They had a lot of sets, a lot of field position. The score got away a little bit in the end with that last try… but that is where we are at," Pay said.
"They were full of running and I don't think we had any sort of pressure on them at all. We started with an error and then it was 5-nil in the penalties which is normal for us because this year we have only won three penalties counts. It is ridiculous."
Pay was asked whether that count against his side was justified.
Match Highlights: Broncos v Bulldogs
"You can pick 20 or 30 penalties out as we've seen in the past but it is just all going one way against us at the moment. I don't make that an excuse… but it is a factor, a big factor," he said.
Pay was not convinced the penalty try awarded to Corey Oates when he was interfered with by Dallin Watene-Zelezniak close to the line was a try.
"Did you think he was going to score? No," Pay said.
"There were a lot of factors in there. The game was gone so it is easy to give a try. I thought it was ridiculous."
Bunker awards penalty try to Oates
The Bulldogs overall effort was showcased late on by captain Josh Jackson who made a try-saving cover tackle on Corey Oates, one of 49 tackles he made on the night.
"And they are all in that boat. Jacko is our leader and refuses to give in and our other young boys are learning off him," Pay said.
"We missed [Aiden] Tolman and we missed him badly because he is another player who refuses to give in but we are learning on the run and learning each week how not to give in.
"The effort and attitude we are bringing is great. We need to keep doing that. We've got the Roosters next Sunday and we need to get ourselves ready and go again."
Rookie five-eighth Brandon Wakeham scored the first try of his top grade career and Pay said he would only learn from his initial NRL experiences alongside Jack Cogger.
"We rolled out there with the youngest halves pairing in the competition," he said.
Match: Broncos v Bulldogs
Round 18 -
Venue: Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
"They done there best and they will learn from what happened tonight but they need to understand how to do absorb pressure and put it back on the opposition."
Pay said centre Marcelo Montoya would go for scans on a knee injury that cut short his night and said he expected star five-eighth Kieran Foran to be right to play the Roosters and return from a hamstring injury.
Sign up for a free NRL Account to access this video and other exclusive content.
Not sure? Learn more about an NRL Account.